(Neb)-Heart-breaking Loss Extends CSC Streak To 17
CHADRON, Neb.– A hot start wasn't enough Saturday as the Chadron State College men saw a 15-point lead with 7-minutes to go turn into a 74-70 home loss to the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.
The loss was the 17th in a row for the Eagles, tying the school record set in the 1994-95 season and leaving them 3-22 on the season and 1-18 in the RMAC. UCCS is 12-12 overall and 9-9 in conference play.
The Eagles shot 72% (18-25) from the field in the 1st half and held a double digit lead for nearly 16 minutes, leading at the half 45-32 and by as many as 18 early in the 2nd period only to see UCCS close the game on a 23-4 run to take the victory.
Coach Houston Reed said afterward he was proud of his young team and that it just needs more experience in this type of game.
"When you're building a program and trying to turn things around, the only way to get over the hump is to win one of these. You've got to gain confidence by demonstrating ability, and that's when you play to win, versus playing not to lose."
After their big 1st half, the momentum shifted midway through the final 20 minutes as the Mountain Lions began chipping away at the deficit with back-to-back threes by Ian McDonald at 15:53.
Adoum Mbang came in at 11:19 and helped the Eagles stop the comeback - at least for a time The junior big man showed great agility around the hoop in only his second game returning from a lengthy absence.
Mbang got 4 quick points and blocked a pair of shots before hitting 2 throws to build the Chadron State lead back to 15 at 6:58 in the game.
UCCS answered with 19-2 run with 7 field goals in their next 9 possessions, including 3 consecutive bombs from outside the arc, while the Eagles went scoreless on their next 9 with 5 missed shots, 3 turnovers, and 2 missed free throws.
The Mountain Lions took their first lead since midway through the 1st half
at 67-66 with 2:37 to go, but the Eagles quickly went back on top with a jumper by Jeremy Ruffin.
UCCS responded with a 3-pointer for a 70-68 lead, but a Jordan Mills' layup with 43 seconds to tied the game at 70 apiece.
UCCS's Justin Smith was fouled making a layup with 34 ticks left, but missed the free throw. The Eagles couldn't capitalize, though, when Mills couldn't hit a jumper in the paint with 12 seconds remaining.
Mills immediately fouled 6-10 Ian McDonald, a strategy that paid off when McDonald missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and CSC rebounded. The Eagles had chance to tie, but Jaisean Jackson's jumper with 4 seconds
wouldn't go in and UCCS rebounded and padded the lead with a pair of free throws inside the last second.
Reed liked what the Eagles did in the long stretch where they dominated the game and needed to review the game video to find out what changed.
"We wanted to come out and be the aggressor so we tried to push the basketball harder and pick it up defensively. We got out and ran, and forced their defense to stretch and chase us. There was more room inside for our posts, and more room for our drivers. I'm curious to get back and look at film to see how we executed the game plan down the stretch."
A quick turnaround is ahead for the Eagles, who host Regis University on Tuesday evening.
Score by half:
UCCS 32 42 ----74
Chadron State 45 25 ----70
UCCS—Elijah Ross 17, Justin Smith 15, Dalton Walker 12, Isaiah Wilson 8, Ian MacDonald 6, Brandon Malone 5, Jonathan Barnes 3, Padiet Wang 3, Titus Reed 2, Ryan VanPelt 2, Ed Bourke 1. Totals: 23-63 (11-29) 17-26 74 points, 37 rebounds, 10 turnovers.
Chadron State—Jaisean Jackson 23, Jeremy Ruffin 14, Jordan Mills 12, Adoum Mbang 9, Leigh Saffin 6, Eric Jamerman 2, Michael Johnson 2, Matt Reader 2. Totals: 29-51 (2-6) 10-14 70 points, 33 rebounds, 15 turnovers.
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