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Chadron State basketball back for the new year

Chadron State basketball back for the new year
(Photo courtesy of Chadron State College)

CHADRON, Neb. — Both Chadron State College basketball teams will launch the 2019 portion of their schedules Friday and Saturday, January 4 and 5 by hosting Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference foes Adams State and Fort Lewis, respectively, in the Chicoine Center.

Both double-headers will tip off at 5:30 p.m. with the women’s games.

The Chadron State women ended the first semester with a 1-10 record while the men were 5-6.  The Eagles are 0-5 and 3-2 in the RMAC, respectively.

The Adams State women are 1-6 for the season and 1-4 in the conference.  Their only victory was a 65-63 decision over Fort Lewis on Dec. 1, when the RMAC travel partners met to open the season. The Lady Grizzlies have lost twice in overtime–82-79 to Rockhurst of Missouri in the season-opener and 66-62 at New Mexico Highlands on Dec. 8, the next game after being edged 65-64 by CSU-Pueblo.

The Grizzlies closed out their pre-holiday slate by hosting Black Hills State and South Dakota Mines, and lost those contests 76-51 and 52-46, respectively.

Adams State’s leading scorer is 5-9 sophomore Stephanie Ruiz, who is averaging 17.6 points and has been the top scorer in five of the team’s seven games.  Next on the scoring list is 5-10 senior Brooke Neal, who is averaging 8.7 points to go with 6.1 rebounds a game.

The Fort Lewis women are 5-5 overall and 2-3 in the RMAC. Their conference wins have been by 88-51 over New Mexico Highlands and 62-44 over South Dakota Mines.  Besides being nipped by Adams State, the Lady Skyhawks have lost to Pueblo 70-52 and Black Hills State 65-55 in league contests.

Three Skyhawks are averaging in double digits.  Alyssa Yocky, a 6-foot senior, is averaging 12.8 points, Jordan Carter, a 6-1 sophomore, 11.3 points and Kayla Herrera, a 5-10 junior, 10.5 points.  All three are claiming at least 5.6 rebounds a game.

The Skyhawks’ top player last year was 6-1 freshman Vivian Gray, who led the RMAC in scoring at 18.7 points to go with 7.8 rebounds a game during the team’s 20-9 season. But she transferred to Oklahoma State and is the Cowgirls’ leading scorer at 17.6 points a game during their 8-2 season so far.

The Adams State men lost all five of their non-conference games to teams from Texas, and are 3-7 for the season after going 3-2 since the RMAC schedule opened. That puts them and the Eagles among the five teams that share fourth place in the conference standings as the 2019 portion of the schedule begins. Both Colorado Mines and Black Hills State are 5-0 and New Mexico Highlands is 4-1.

Just one Adams State player from a year ago is on this year’s roster.

The Grizzlies’ wins have been over Fort Lewis 68-60 in overtime, Pueblo 86-74 and South Dakota Mines 76-61. They have lost to Highlands 100-95 and Black Hills 86-69 in conference action.

The team’s top scorers are 6-1 John Dewey at 18 points a game and 6-5 Davere Creighton at 15.6.  Both are senior transfers from New York City.   Rickey Norris, a 6-5 junior, is chipping in 12.5 points a game.

The Fort Lewis men, who finished 24-7 a year ago, are 5-5 at the holiday break and 1-4 in the RMAC. The Skyhawks’ conference win was a 73-61 decision at Pueblo after they’d been blown out 104-69 at Highlands the night before.

All three of the Hawks’ remaining RMAC losses have been overtime heart-breakers. Besides the 68-60 setback at Adams State, South Dakota Mines won 76-67 and Black Hills prevailed 70-66 in Durango in OT in the final 2018 games.

Three Skyhawks are scoring in double figures.  They are 6-5 senior Marquel Beasley at 17.1 points, 6-9 junior Riley Farris at 12.3 and 6-5 senior Alex Semadeni at 11.2. Farris did not play in either of the games against the South Dakota teams.

The Chadron State men’s five wins so far this season matches the Eagles’ highest total at the end of the first semester since 2004-05. With five seniors and three juniors seeing much of the playing time, the Eagles have good depth.

While they do not rank high in the conference in most of the offensive categories, the Eagles are among the pacesetters in scoring defense (70.1 per game), total field goal defense (42.7 percent) and 3-point defense (29.4 percent).

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