The South Dakota School of Mines Hardrockers weren’t going to give up their home winning streak without a say.
The Hardrockers answered a 14-0 Northern New Mexico run to open the second half with a 39-13 explosion down the stretch to extend their home string to nine games with a 83-60 victory over the Eagles Friday night.
Rodney Coles' buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the first half continued after intermission with the Eagles taking a 47-44 lead with 15 minutes left.
But from there the game was all South Dakota Mines. The Hardrockers shut down the Eagles offensively.
Head coach Jason Henry credited freshman Phil Schanilec with jump-starting the clampdown.
“Philip came back after that (Eagles run) and got us back in the game. We just weren’t guarding guys in the defensive end,” Henry said.
After scoring 11 unanswered points to start the second half, The Eagles were held to just 13 the rest of the way.
“We just did a great job of starting to fly back around and guys did what they had to do,” Henry said.
Schanilec also led the Hardrockers offensively with 21 points, including 13 in the first half.
“We’ve been in this situation a whole bunch of times,” Schanilec said. “We just started focusing and playing some defense and we came right back into it.”
“After that we had a lot of energy. We wanted to stay unbeaten at home. That was the best motivator for us,” Schanilec added.
Konor Kulas added 20 and 10 rebounds. Andrew Rebol and Lucas Nolan each had 11 points for the Hardrockers.
Illya Glover led Northern New Mexico (9-16) with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Brandon Jones added 11 for the Eagles.
Mines, improving to 15-8, avenged a 64-57 decision to Northern New Mexico on Jan. 18 in Espanola, N.M.
The Hardrockers face Johnson & Wales of Denver at 5 p.m. Saturday.
S.D. MINES 72, NORTHERN NEW MEXICO 47: South Dakota Mines didn’t exactly get off to a blazing start, but Northern New Mexico was ice-cold for most of the first half of their women’s basketball matchup Friday night.
The Lady Hardrockers took advantage of the Lady Eagles’ futility to build a 28-7 first half lead and cruise to a 72-47 win at the King Center.
Hillary Hawkins scored 14 of her game-high 18 points in the second half to lead Mines.
Katie Strandholm added 15 points and Jessica Shull scored 10 for the Lady Hardrockers, 13-8.
Lady Hardrocker head coach Barb Felderman said a strong defensive effort, 11 steals and 22 total NNM turnovers in the first half, contributed to the Lady Eagles woes (3-of-26 from the field in the first half).
“They couldn’t hit anything to begin with. We played some great defense,” Felderman said.
Mines’ attack sputtered at times as well, but by the time Northern New Mexico finally established some kind of offense, the Lady Hardrockers were comfortably out in front.
“We couldn’t hit for a while. It couldn’t have been the most fun game to watch,” Felderman said.
Felderman said she hoped the Lady Hardrockers would find another gear in the second half.
“We thought we’d kick it in in the second half, but we just played with them. We don’t have a killer bone in us. We’re just nice girls. (We say) let’s just go play some hoops,” Felderman said.
The Lady Eagles, whose 8-18 mark includes a 74-58 loss to Mines in Espanola, N.M., on Jan. 18, were led by Nisa Duran’s 14 points, all in the second half. Duran also hustled for 10 rebounds.
The Lady Hardrockers host Johnson and Wales of Denver on Saturday at 3 p.m.