CSC basketball teams finally playing at home

CSC basketball teams finally playing at home

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After playing a bulk of their games on the road, the Chadron State College basketball teams will be playing a lot more games in the Chicoine Center, one of the niftiest courts in Division II, beginning this weekend.

Their neighbors from the north will be the first to invade. Black Hills State will be the opponents on Friday night and South Dakota School of Mines on Saturday night. Both RMAC double-headers will tip off at 5:30 with the women’s games.

The Chadron State men have played 19 games, but only five of them at home. The women have played 22 contests, seven of them in Chadron. During the rest of the season, both quintets will have seven of their nine games in Chicoine.

Hopefully, the home games will net more victories. The CSC women are 5-17 for the season and the men are 3-16. But a lot of outstanding players and teams will be visiting, beginning this weekend.

All four of the South Dakota teams opened their RMAC schedules the first weekend of December visiting the Utah quintets. The Mines women edged Dixie State 70-68 in overtime, but the home teams won the remaining three.

Since then the Black Hills State men have won all 11 of their games and are now tied with Dixie State at the top of the conference standings.

Their leading scorer is 6-foot-7 Joel Scott, who is averaging 17.3 points while shooting 62.4 percent from the field that includes going 22 of 43 from 3-point range. Somehow, Coach Ryan Thompson sneaked him out of Colorado Springs even though he was the Class 4A Player of the Year and played on the state championship team at Lewis-Palmer High.

Scott tallied 35 points last Saturday night when the Yellow Jackets thumped CSU-Pueblo 94-76 in Pueblo.

The Jackets have plenty of other punch. Junior guard Trey Whitley is averaging 13.7 points, senior Tyler Oliver is at 13.5 a game and has 33 steals and 77 assists while 6-6 Stefan Desnica averages 12.2 points.

The Black Hills women are 11-7 for the season and 8-5 in the RMAC to share sixth place. Their leader is 5-9 junior Racquel Wientjes, who is averaging 17.3 points and 5.3 rebounds, has scored as many as 35 points and tallied 28 Saturday night while leading the Lady Jackets to a 69-63 win at Pueblo.

Morgan Ham, a 6-1 forward, is the only other double-figure scorer with a 14.2 average.

The South Dakota Mines women are 8-9 for the season and 6-7 in the conference, leaving them in the playoff picture. Their top gun is 5-9 sophomore Ryan Weiss, who is shooting 47.8 percent from the field, including 48 percent (59-178) from 3-point land. She’s also made 43 of 49 free throws and rang up 33 points at New Mexico Highlands on Friday night.

Another Lady Rockers’ stalwart is 5-11 senior Anna Haugen, who is averaging 10.4 points and 9.4 rebounds.

The Mines men are in about the same position as the women in the playoff outlook. After losing at both Pueblo and Highlands last weekend, they are 9-10 overall and 6-7 in the RMAC. The previous weekend they toppled Colorado Mines 84-69 and Colorado Springs 71-49 at home.

Coached by CSC graduate Eric Glenn, the Hardrockers feature 5-11 senior guard Allec Williams, who is averaging 14.1 points and was named the RMAC Offensive Player of the Week after scoring 48 points in the recent wins over Colorado Mines and Colorado Springs.

The Hardrockers get much of their height from 6-9 Mitch Sueker, the conference’s Freshman of the Year last season. He’s scoring at a 13.2-point clip this year. Senior Logan Elers, 6-7, is averaging 10.4 points and 5.5 rebounds.

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