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(Neb.)-Cowboys Nip Eagle Men In New Mexico

By: Dennis Brown Posted at: 01/28/2018 07:36 AM
LAS VEGAS, N.M. – January 27, 2018 – The Chadron State College men shot their best game of the season from the field, and held homestanding New Mexico Highlands University to its third-lowest percentage of the season, but the Cowboys escaped with the 69-67 win on their home court in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

"We did some things different in practice this week, by focusing more on ourselves than our opponents. We wanted to work our system more, rather than focus on making individual plays. Tonight, though, we stepped back on timeouts and let the guys just play. It's a credit to our guys. I was proud to see them able to stay composed, and that's something we can build on."

Highlands shot 32 times from the free throw line, as opposed to 14 for the CSC men. The Cowboys took 26 of their 69 points at the foul line. Leading scorer Mike Nwabuzor was a perfect 11-of-11 en route to 17 total points.

The battle for the lead took several turns in the first half. Walker Andrew opened up the Eagles' first lead at 2-0 on his team's first possession, before Highlands went on a 10-0 run. A streaky game ensued, with several lead changes, until NMHU went into the half up 33-26.

Andrew's layup at 9:55 in the second half retook the lead for the Eagles for the first time in over 15 minutes.

At 7:18 Jacob Holland, the Cowboys' leading scorer for the season, fouled out with just eight points and a rebound to his name.

Chadron State tied things up a couple times down the stretch, but could not catch a break from Highlands at the free throw line. Two of the Eagles' big men, Michael Johnson and Matt Reader, fouled out with 6:14 and 3:02 remaining.

"Our guys gave themselves a chance to win. It came down to who made the last play. If you get one more ball to fall, or one more free throw chance, then everything could have gone the other way.

Sophomore guard Jordan Mills led the Eagles for the third consecutive game, hitting 7-of-10 from the field and finishing with 16 points. Freshman Dru Kuxhausen added 13. Junior forward Jeremy Ruffin was a defensive force and double-doubled for the sixth time this season with 12 points and a game-high 10 boards.

The Eagles' final road weekend comes up next week as both CSC teams travel to Denver for faceoffs with Colorado School of Mines and Colorado Christian University.

Score by half:
               Chadron State              26               41           ----67
               N.M Highlands              33               36           ----69

            Chadron State—Jordan Mills 16, Dru Kuxhausen 13, Jeremy Ruffin 12, Jaisean Jackson 8,Walker Andrew 6, Matt Reader 5, Michael Johnson 4, Eric Jamerman 3. Totals: 26-46 (3-10) 12-14 67 points, 27 rebounds, 17 turnovers.
               N.M. Highlands—Mike Nwabuzor 17, Desmond Carpenter 13, Jordan Jones 10, Jacob Holland 8, Chris Lewis 8, Nmandi Okoro 8, Adrian LeFleur 3, D.J. Bustos 2. Totals: 19-47 (5-14) 26-32 69 points, 22 rebounds, 7 turnovers.

(Courtesy Chadron State College)


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