CHADRON – 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 and forward Diontae Champion contributed 16 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists as the Eagles slipped past Adams State 93-86 in a spirited Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference basketball game Friday night.
“There were some times tonight where we were sporadic,” said CSC Head Men’s Basketball Coach Houston Reed. “Balls and bodies were flying everywhere. You could tell it had been a while since we had competition. In the second half, we got more disciplined. We gathered ourselves, got more touches, and got more tuned in with each other. That’s a credit to our players.”
Now 6-6 for the season and 4-2 in the conference, the Eagles led just 5-4, once in the first half, 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, the Eagles never trailed in the second half and led by as many as 12 with 4:25 left.
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. However, the Eagles converted on seven of eight free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Both teams netted 29 field goals, but the Eagles hit seven three-pointers, compared to the Grizzlies’ four. Brady Delimont sank three treys while adding 11 points to Chadron State’s total.
Adams State was 24 of 28 at the free throw line and Chadron State was 28 of 36.
The Eagles’ Colby Jackson was 10 of 11 from the charity stripe for half of his points. Mbang made 8 of 11 field goal tries and was four of six at the line for his 20 points. Both are career highs.
Champion fell just two assists shy of becoming only the second Chadron State male player to post a triple-double. He had nine of the Eagles’ 16 rebounds at halftime.
“This was a huge win,” said Champion. “As the conference is now, if you lose one, you’ll be near the bottom. With the win, we kept ourselves in fourth-place in the conference. We pride ourselves on defense, and I’m one of the most active on that end of the court. If it wasn’t for my teammates and coaches, though, this wouldn’t be possible. I expect this out of myself though. I have to set the tone.”
Four Grizzlies joined the 6-foot-6, wiry Johnson as double-figure scorers. John Dewey was 10 of 10 at the free throw line while tallying 18 points and Davere Creighton was 9 of 10 at the line while adding 13 points. Creighton also claimed 12 rebounds.
Syzmon Walczak finished with 11 points and RJ Brown with 10 for the visitors.
Adams State is now 3-8 overall and 3-3 in the RMAC.
Chadron State will host Fort Lewis and Adams State will visit Metro State in Denver on Saturday. Metro topped Fort Lewis 77-67 Friday night.