Despite leading the game for nearly seven minutes in the first half, the Chadron State College Eagle men (2-12, 2-8 RMAC) suffered an 89-71 setback on the road Saturday night at Western State Colorado University (3-10, 2-7 RMAC).
The Eagles finished 17-of-36 from the foul line, The Mountaineers also used their 42.3 percent three-point shooting to dig them out of a hole in the first half and break away in the second. CSC hit only 6-of-23 from long range.
“You have to credit them for making some shots that were contested,” said CSC head men’s basketball coach Houston Reed, “but we want to do a better job taking space away defensively. We could have defended the three-point line better tonight.”
A couple of missing pieces returned back to the lineup for the Eagles, though sparingly. Darius Polley was in for 25 minutes after averaging more than 31 per game previously, and Austin Hall returned to the lineup with 11 minutes. Both left the game against Fort Lewis over a week ago with apparent ankle injuries.
Warren Gordon finished as the leading scorer for the Eagles with 14 points. Also in double digits were Jordan Perry with 12 points and Leigh Saffin, who hit on 3-of-7 three pointers to score 11 points.
Matt Reader, a defensive stalwart on the team now in his third season with significant starting experience, came one field goal away from his first career double-double. He led the team with three steals and had several extra-effort plays in the game.
“Matt played with a great motor,” said Reed. “He fought on the glass and competed. We’re challenging him to be more aggressive offensively. He’s a strong kid and did a great job, and we’ve got to get him more consistent on offense.”
Top scorers for the Mountaineers included Brady Subart, with 27 points, Ben Beauchamp, with 24 points, and Collin Smith, who had 18.