History pretty well repeated itself in the Chadron State College men’s basketball team’s most recent game, played Tuesday, Feb. 13 in the Chicoine Center.
Three nights prior to that, the Eagles shot 72 percent (18-25) in the first half and led Colorado-Colorado Springs by as many as 18 points (53-35) 3 ½ minutes into the second half. But the Mountain Lions outscored Chadron State 20-4 in final 6:18 and eeked out a 74-70 verdict.
Much to the dismay of Chadron State fans, the game with Regis was pretty much a rerun as the Regis Rangers came from far back to win 73-67.
The Eagles hit six of 10 3-pointers in the first half while building a 34-20 lead over the Denver team, then opened the second half with an 8-0 spree to go ahead 42-20. Surely, the hometown favorites were on the way to breaking their 17-game losing streak.
But it didn’t happen. In the next three minutes, the Rangers went on a 15-0 run, sinking six of seven field goal shots, including a trio of treys, and cutting the Eagles’ lead to 42-35.
After CSC broke its drought on Jordan Mills’ layup with 13:27 to play, Regis continued its assault, hitting three more 3-pointers and a free shot in less than 90 seconds for a 45-44 lead.
To the Eagles’ credit, they staged their own rally and led again 54-47 with 7:41 still showing. But except for a free throw, CSC did not score again in the next five minutes and Regis went ahead 61-55.
The visitors never led by more than six points, but every time the Eagles scored, Regis responded. The Eagles sank two layups and four charity tosses without missing in about a minute down the stretch, but couldn’t make much headway on the scoreboard as the Rangers hit 10 consecutive free throws in the final 79 seconds, six of them by sophomore guard Christian Little.
Regis shot just 37 percent from the field for the game, but nine of its 20 field goals were treys, seven of them in the second half. The Eagles finished at 43.6 percent from the field, but after their six of 10 performance from afar in the first half, were 0-7 from behind the arc in the second half.
Chadron State still outscored the visitors 54-49 from the field, but the free throw line was another matter. Regis was 24 of 33 and the Eagles 13 of 18.
Mills, the sophomore from Alliance, was the game’s top scorer with 21 points. Jeremy Ruffin was the Eagles’ only other double-figure scorer with 10 points and also was the game’s leading rebounder with nine.
Ty McGee, a 6-5 senior from Littleton, Colo., paced the Rangers with 17 points, including 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Little’s 8-of-8 at the line helped him score 14 points and junior Avonte Nelms was 4-of-6 from long range while adding 13 points.
Regis left Chadron at 20-5 for the season and 14-5 in the RMAC.
CSC coach Houston Reed said he was pleased that the Eagles shot the ball better the past two games and gave themselves a chance to win.
"It would be easy for them to hang their heads, as rough as things have been. Give credit to these guys. They're showing toughness, they're coming (to work) every day, and they've got the right attitude,” the coach said.
The Eagles will wrap up the season by hosting long-time rivals Black Hills State and South Dakota Mines this weekend.
Regis—Ty McGee 17, Christian Little 14, Avonte Nelms 13, Brian Dawson 8, Jarrett Brodbeck 7, Dexter Sienko 6, Ryan Beisty 5, Tomas Auruskevicius 3. Totals: 20-54 (9-22) 24-33 73 points, 34 rebounds, 11 turnovers.
Chadron State—Jordan Mills 21, Jeremy Ruffin 10, Jaisean Jackson 8, Matt Reader 6, Leigh Saffin 6, Eric Jamerman 5, Michael Johnson 4, Adoum Mbang 4, Walker Andrew 3. Totals: 24-55 (6-17) 13-18 67 points, 36 rebounds, 18 turnovers.
Regis 20 53 ----73
Chadron State 34 33 ----67
3-pointers: Regis—Nelms 4, Dawson 2, Brodbeck 1, Auruskevicius 1, Beisty 1. CSC—Mills 3, Saffin 2, Jamerman 1.