Jordan Mills

Chadron State sophomore Jordan Mills of Alliance scored a game-high 19 points against Fort Lewis on Saturday night. Because of an illness, he had missed the first five games after Christmas until last weekend.

Photo by Con Marshall

A pair of tall, talented and sharp-shooting Colorado teams downed the short-handed Chadron State Eagles during a pair of RMAC men’s games in the Chicoine Center last weekend.

Adams State shot 54.7 percent from the field, including 8 of 22 from 3-point range, while taking an 82-70 victory on Friday night. Fort Lewis made it look easy the next night, hitting 62 percent of its field goal attempts, including 9 of 20 from afar, scoring 48 points in each half and winning 98-69.

The Eagles, who had just eight players available each night, shot 38.6 percent against the Adams Grizzlies and 36 percent versus the Fort Lewis Skyhawks.

After glancing at the stats, CSC coach Houston Reed noted “it’s not rocket-science” to determine why the visiting teams won, but commended his players for their effort in both contests. He said the Eagles had “played with a lion’s heart.”

Size had a lot to do with the outcome at both ends of the court. Adams State utilized two 6-foot-8 and a 6-10 player who combined for 24 points and 15 rebounds along with four blocked shots. Fort Lewis’s 6-9 duo of Brandon Wilson and Riley Farris combined to make 12 of 18 field goal attempts, claim 10 rebounds and block three shots.

The Skyhawks, now 16-3 overall and 12-2 in the conference, also got a team-high 15 points on seven of nine shooting from the field, nine rebounds and two more blocked shots from Marquel Beasley, listed as a 6-5 guard and within an inch as tall as anyone the Eagles had on the court.

Six Fort Lewis players scored in double figures.

Still, the Eagles had their bright spots.

After going ahead 4-3, Adams State led all the way. But what was once a 14-point lead was just seven—43-36—at halftime. The Eagles cut the deficit to 46-44 three minutes after intermission and trailed by just five midway through the final half.

It helped that the referees put the brakes on some of the Grizzlies’ physical play and the Eagles cashed in on 20 of 23 free throws. Adams State was just four of nine from the line.

Brandon Sly, a 5-10 guard, led the Grizzlies with 23 points. Jarrett Givens, a 6-5 guard, added 16.

The Eagles put five players in double figures, paced by guard Dru Kuxhausen and 6-5 “center” Jeremy Ruffin with 16 points apiece. Ruffin also grabbed 11 rebounds, but his best while battling the big boys was yet to come.

Fort Lewis hit its first seven shots from the field while bolting to a 14-6 lead Saturday night. The Eagles, never took the lead, tied the score at 18-18 and trailed by only 33-31 with six minutes remaining in the opening half. Unfortunately, CSC didn’t score again in the half and trailed 48-13 at intermission.

Two young players who had been relatively quiet recently led the Eagles in scoring.

Sophomore Jordan Mills tallied 19 and freshman Eric Jamerman 17. Both shot 50 percent from the field. Mills was eight of 16 and Jamerman six of 12, including four of eight from long range.

Ruffin, among those displaying the “lion’s heart,” grabbed 17 rebounds, the most for a CSC player since the late Fernando Bonfim had 18 in the final game of his career in 2007.

The Eagles played Friday’s game without 6-6 center Matt Reader, who had returned to his home in Wisconsin to attend his grandfather’s funeral, and were without point guard and leading-scorer Jaisean Jackson in the second game because of a concussion he sustained in the final minute the previous night.

Adams State 82, Chadron State 70

Adams State—Brandon Sly 23, Jarrett Givens 16, Tyoyon Butler 10, Fred Jackson 8, Szymon Walczak 8, Ethan Caton 6, Mike Thomas 6, Trace Wimeff 4, Trace Dimeff 3, Shane Johnson 2. Totals: 35-64 (8-22) 4-9 82 points, 40 rebounds, 14 turnovers.

Chadron State—Dru Kuxhausen 16, Jeremy Ruffin 16, Eric Jamerman 11, Jaisean Jackson 10, Andrew Walker 10, Jordan Mills 7. Totals: 22-57 (6-19) 20-23 70 points, 28 rebounds, 13 turnovers.

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Adams State 43 39 ----82

Chadron State 36 34 ----70

3-pointers: Adams—Givens 4, Sly 3, Dimeff 1. CSC—Jamerman 3, Kuxhausen 2, Mills 1.

Fort Lewis 96, Chadron State 69

Fort Lewis—Marquel Beasley 15, Daniel Hernandez 14, Brandon Wilson 14, Rasmus Bach 12, Riley Farris 11, Collin Weaver 10, DJ Miles 6, Alex Semadeni 6, Cesar Molina 6, Kane Martinez 2. Totals: 35-64 (8-22) 4-9 82 points, 40 rebounds, 14 turnovers.

Chadron State—Jordan Mills 19, Eric Jamerman 17, Dru Kuxhausen 9, Matt Reader 8, Walker Andrew 7, Jeremy Ruffin 5, Vonsinh Sayaloune 3, Leigh Saffin 1. Totals: 27-75 (10-31) 5-11 69 points, 44 44 rebounds, 14 turnovers.

Fort Lewis 48 48 ----96

Chadron State 31 38 ----69

3-pointers: Miles, 2, Molina 2, Weaver 2, Bach, Hernandez, Farris, all 1. CSC—Jamerman 4, Kuxhausen 3, Mills 2, Sayaloune 1.

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