CHADRON — November 9, 2018 — The Chadron State College men’s basketball team got its new season off to a positive start Friday night, snapping the 20-game losing streak that was left over from last year and pretty well dominating the second half of its opener at home.
Not much clicked early for the Eagles. They trailed by as many as 10 points twice in the opening half, but cut the deficit to 24-20 at halftime and then shot 57.7 percent from the field in the second half to defeat Texas A&M International 61-54 in the Chicoine Center.
“We got off to a sluggish start, but we continued to fight hard and were going pretty good down the stretch,” said CSC coach Houston Reed. “We did kind of like the football team’s been doing, pulling out a win late in the game.”
Reed was alluding to the fact that the Eagles’ football team has rallied to win four games this fall in the fourth quarter.
The basketball Eagles were led by 6-8 transfer center Charles Gavin. He made eight of his nine field goal shots en route scoring 19 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds, both game-highs. He said those numbers might be as good as he’s had since he played at South High in Denver.
“He’s a man and he played like one tonight,” said Reed, who also coached the Gavin at Otero Junior College before both left at the end of the 2015-16 season after the Rattlers went 15-1 against Region 9 foes and 27-6 overall.
Reed came to Chadron State and Gavin transferred to Western Illinois, where he played sparingly last year. When Gavin decided to transfer again, his former coach welcomed him with open arms at CSC.
He was the player who made the difference Friday night.
Gavin scored the Eagles’ first two baskets Friday night, giving them a 4-0 lead in the opening 2 ½ minutes, but also drew his second foul in about the same time span and sat out most of remainder of the half.
With International’s aggressive zone defense forcing more turnovers than the Eagles could get shots, the Texans opened their 10-point leads.
The Eagles “hung around” by making all six of their first half free throws. When Gavin returned in the final minute of the half, he scored the bucket that closed the deficit to four points at intermission.
The senior also scored three of the Eagles’ first four field goals in the second half, allowing them to take their first lead–30-29–since the opening minutes.
There were two lead changes and two ties before Chadron State took the lead for keeps on a driving layup by Jaisean Jackson to make it 39-37.
The Eagles eventually widened the margin to 51-41 on Gavin’s layup with 5:45 remaining and hung on the rest of the way, pretty well matching points with the Dustdevils.
The Dustdevils were led by senior Xabier Gomez with 15 points. Steven Coulanges added 15.
The Eagles will be back in action at 6 o’clock Saturday, playing Texas A&M-Kingsville, who lost in overtime at South Dakota Mines Friday evening.
Texas A&M International 24 30 —54
Chadron State 20 41 —61
Texas A&M International–Xabier Gomez 15, Steven Coulanges 13, Danny Spinuzza 7, Brett Finn 6, Cedric Rembert 4, Damon Leach 4, Tom Higgins 2, Dominic Jackson 2, Jace Johnson 1. Totals: 18-54 (3-18) 15-25 54 points, 30 rebounds, 14 turnovers.
Chadron State–Charles Gavin 19, Jeremy Ruffin 9, Michael Sparks 8, Jordan Mills 6, Jaisean Jackson 5, Walker Andrew 4, Brady Delimont 3, Trey Hladky 3, Adoum Mgang 2,Dionte Champion 2. Totals: 21-46 (3-12) 16-20 61 points, 38 rebounds, 20 rebounds.