Both Chadron State College men’s basketball games last weekend were donnybrooks, but they went in opposite directions down the stretch as the Eagles split the RMAC contests in the Chicoine Center.
The Eagles led the first game by just three points with 49 seconds remaining, but outscored Adams State seven to three the rest of the way and won 93-86.
The next night, Chadron State held a six-point margin with 45 seconds left, but fell victim to an unbelievable performance by Fort Lewis senior Alex Semadeni, who nailed three 3-pointers, including one at the buzzer that tied the score at 81-81, sending the clash into overtime.
The Skyhawks’ Cinderella success continued during the extra session and they won 100-88.
What was a miraculous finish for Fort Lewis was a heart-breaker for the Eagles, now 6-7 overall and 4-3 in the conference.
Semandeni finished with 37 points, 16 more than he’d ever scored previously.
We’ll tell the happy story first:
Chadron State shot a season-high 51.8 percent from the field, got 20 points from both point guard Colby Jackson and center Adoum Mbang, while forward Diontae Champion also posted some spectacular numbers as the Eagles topped Adams State.
Champion rang up 16 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, to barely miss becoming the second CSC male basketball player to post a triple-double. Otis Frazier was the first in 1999-2000 against the University of Southern Colorado, now Colorado State-Pueblo.
The Eagles led just once in the first half--5-4--and fell behind by as many as eight points on three occasions before knotting the score 41-41 at halftime.
After scoring the first four points of the second half, the Eagles never trailed again and led by as many as 12 with 4:25 left to play.
But the Grizzlies kept clawing.
A dunk by Shemar Johnson, the game’s leading scorer with 23 points, cut Chadron State’s lead to 86-83 with 49 seconds remaining. The Eagles sealed the victory by making seven of eight free throws down the stretch.
Both teams netted 29 field goals, but the Eagles hit seven 3-pointers and the Grizzlies’ four. Brady Delimont sank three treys while adding 11 points to CSC’s total.
Adams State was 24 of 28 at the free throw line and Chadron State was 28 of 36.
Colby Jackson was 10 of 11 from the charity stripe for half of his points. Mbang made eight of 11 field goal tries and was four of six at the line for his 20 points. Both are career highs.
Four Grizzlies joined the 6-foot-6, reed-thin Johnson as double-figure scorers. John Dewey was 10 of 10 at the charity stripe while tallying 18 points. Davere Creighton was nine of 10 at the line while adding 13 points and also snatched 12 rebounds.
Adams State knocked off Metro State 68-62 in Denver on Saturday night and is now 4-8 overall and 4-3 in the RMAC.
Here’s a summary of the Eagles’ unhappy tale, but Semadeni, a 6-5 Fort Collins product, has to be recognized for his spectacular feat.
Semadeni sank three 3-pointers in the final 32 seconds, including one at the buzzer, to send the game into overtime, then tallied 10 of his team’s 19 points in the extra session to finish with 37 points.
He entered the game averaging 11 points after hitting just two of nine field goal shots and finishing with only five points Friday night during his team’s 77-67 loss to Metro State in Denver. For sure, he made up for lost time against the Eagles.
The score was tied at 24 with six minutes left in the first half. Fort Lewis exploded for 14 straight points in the next three minutes and led 40-30 at halftime.
It looked as if Chadron State was going to come from behind and win before Semadeni began his heroics.
The Eagles slowly but surely caught up and owned their biggest lead, 78-72, with 45 seconds remaining. Semadeni hit the first of his late 3-pointers with 32 seconds showing to cut his team’s deficit in half.
Colby Jackson made one of two free shots with 31 seconds left, but Semadeni nailed another trey out of the left corner with 20 seconds remaining. The Skyhawks fouled Jackson again with 11 seconds left and he made both free throws to put the Eagles ahead 81-78.
Once the Skyhawks reached the other end of the court, Kireed Johnson launched a 3-pointer from the left side with about four seconds showing. The shot missed, but Semadeni got the rebound, dribbled into the right corner to get behind the 3-point arc, turned and fired. The ball went through the nets as the buzzer blared.
The officials reviewed the tape of the action to make sure Semadeni had gotten the shot off soon enough. They said he did, tying the score at 81 and sending the game into overtime.
Fort Lewis scored first in overtime on AJ Sparks’ old-fashioned 3-point play and the Eagles never caught up.
After two Skyhawks’ starters fouled out late in regulation, massive redshirt freshman Brendan Boatwright came off the bench and hit a pair of field goals and two free throws in overtime and Semadeni meshed 10 of 12 charity shots, including five in the last 10 seconds, to wrap up the visitors’ scoring at 100 points.
All told, Semadeni was 10 of 14 from the field, including five of five on 3-pointers, and 12 of 14 from the free throw line for his 37 points. Sparks added 15, Marquel Beasley 14 and Otas Iyekekpolor 13 for Fort Lewis.
Chadron State was led by center Mbang’s 21 points while Champion scored 19 and Jackson 14, giving the trio 100 points in the two games.
Fort Lewis was 31 of 59 from the field, including 10 of 16 on 3-pointers, and was 28-39 at the free throw line. Chadron State was 30 of 63 from the field, made seven of 19 treys, and was 21-30 at the line. Fort Lewis outrebounded the Eagles 40-33.
Chadron State 93, Adams State 86
Adams State--Shemar Johnson 23, John Dewey 18, Davere Creighton 13, Szymon Walczak 11, RJ Brown 10, Justice Augmon 4, Isaiah Nelson 3, Miles Banks 2, Cole Arceneaux 2. Totals: 29-60 (4-17) 24-28 86 points, 29 rebounds, 20 turnovers.
Chadron State--Colby Jackson 20, Adoum Bang 20, Dionte Champion 16, Brady Delimont 11, Michael Sparks 8, Charles Gavin 6, Jeremy Ruffin 6, Jaisean Jackson 4,Walker Andrew 2. Totals: 29-56 (7-19) 29-36 93 points, 33 rebounds, 18 turnovers.
Adams State 41 46 ----86
Chadron State 41 52 ----93
3-pointers: ASU--Johnson 3, Nelson. CSC--Delimont 3, C. Jackson 2, Sparks 2.
Fort Lewis 100, Chadron State 88 (OT)
Fort Lewis--Alex Semadeni 37, AJ Sparks 15, Marquel Beasley 14, Otas Iyekekpolor 13, Brenden Boatwright 6, Kireed Johnson 5, Wyatt Hayes 5, Will Wittman 5. Totals: 31-59 (10-16) 28-39 100 points, 40 rebounds, 16 turnovers.
Chadron State--Adoum Mbang 21, Diontae Champion 19, Colby Jackson 14, Michael Sparks 9, Jeremy Ruffin 8, Jacob Jefferson 6, Brady Delimont 5, Charles Gavin 4, Walker Andrew 2. Totals: 30-63 (7-19) 21-30 88 points, 33 rebounds, 13 turnovers.
Fort Lewis 40 41 19 ----100
Chadron State 40 51 7 -----88
3-pointers: FLC--Semadeni 5, Johnson, Beasley, Hayes, Wittman and Sparks, all 1. CSC--C. Jackson 3, Jefferson 2, Sparks 1, Delimont 1,