Chadron State’s last two opponents had combined to sink only 11 of 60 shots from 3-point territory, but it was a different story last Tuesday night when Montana State Billings was a red-hot 18 of 35 from behind the arc at home and downed the Eagles 95-82.
The 18 treys is a record against the Eagles. The old mark was 17 by Western State in 1998-99.
“We’ve got to take our hats off to Billings. They shot the lights out from three,” said CSC coach Houston Reed. “We had some defensive mistakes against them, but they also made some tough ones.”
The difference at Billings came in the first half when the Yellowjackets, now 5-0, canned 11 of 19 shots from downtown to build a 53-40 halftime lead. Both teams tallied 42 points in the second half.
The Eagles made up some of the difference at the free throw line where they were 19 of 22. Billings was nine of 15 from the charity stripe.
Both teams had four players score in double figures. Tyler Green, a 5-9 sophomore, led Billings with 21 points, Sven Jeuschede added 17 and Kendall Denham 16. The trio combined to hit 13 of 24 treys.
Chadron State was led by sophomore forward Michael Johnson with 21 points. Freshman guard Dru Kuxhausen scored 17 and juniors Jaisean Jackson and Jeremy Ruffin added 10 apiece.
Ruffin, the previous week’s RMAC Defensive Player of the Week, also collected a game-high 12 rebounds, but the Yellowjackets still out-rebounded the Eagles 37-25. Jackson had five assists.
Billings jumped out to an 11-2 lead. The Eagles were never ahead, but knotted the score at 31-31 with 4:45 left in the first half. From there the Montana team built its 13-point halftime lead that made the difference.
Three straight layups by Alliance native Jordan Mills in the first 77 seconds of the second half cut the difference to seven points, but Billings led by double digits the final 16 minutes.
Reed said a bright spot for his team was its ability to get the ball down low to Johnson.
Chadron State—Michael Johnson 21, Dru Kuxhausen 17, Jaisean Jackson 10, Jeremy Ruffin 10, Jordan Mills 8, Leigh Saffin 5, Vonsinh Sayaloune 5, Walker Andrew 4, Matt Reader 2. Totals: 29-61 (5-12) 19-22 82 points, 25 rebounds, 13 turnovers.
MSU-Billings—Tyler Green 21, Sven Jeuschede 17, Kendall Denham 16, Zack Rollins 11, Kamal Tall 9, David Simental 9, Zharon Richmond 8, Dan Shedden 4. Totals: 34-63 (18-35) 9-15 95 points, 37 rebounds, 19 turnovers.
Chadron State 40 42 ----82
MSU-Billings 53 42 ----95
3-pointers: CSC—Kuxhausen 3, Saffin 1, Sayaloune 1. MSU-Billings—Jeuschede 5, Denham 4, Green 4, Simentel 2, Rollins 2, Richmond 1.