CHADRON, Neb. — December 3, 2019 — The Chadron State College basketball teams will launch their Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference schedules by hosting the Colorado Christian Cougars on Friday night and the Regis Rangers on Saturday night in double-headers in the Chicoine Center. The women’s games will tip off the action at 5:30.
For the Eagles, this will be a “new season.” Both teams took their lumps while playing non-conference foes. The CSC women are 2-7 and have been outscored by an average of 70.6 to 60.5 points. The men are 1-5, but the points per game margin is just 69-68.5 after CSC outgunned Presentation College 83-53 during the Eagles’ first home game on Sunday.
The Lady Eagles’ wins are over their first and last opponents. They edged Texas A&M International 66-62 in the opener and Converse College of South Carolina 81-63 on Saturday at the North Star Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Three players have frequently set the scoring pace for the women’s team. Junior Taryn Foxen leads with a 13.1-point average, followed by senior transfer Melisa Kadic at 11.0 and sophomore point guard Jori Peters at 9.3 a game. Freshman Jordan Morris is chipping in 6.5 points a game, fourth best on the roster, and is also averaging 5.3 rebounds.
Also a senior transfer, 6-4 Brian Rodriguez, is the top scorer and rebounder on the CSC men’s team at 16.5 points and 5.8 rebounds. Point guard Colby Jackson is next on the scoring chart at 10.2 points a game despite shooting just 31 percent from the field. He’s taken up some slack by making 25 of 30 free throws.
Lack of depth is not one of the men’s problems. Coach Houston Reed has mixed and matched an assortment of players during the first six games in an effort to find the right combinations.
The Eagles played Presentation on Sunday without senior guard Michael Sparks because of a foot injury. Reed said he can not predict whether Sparks will be available this weekend.
Both Colorado Christian teams will come to Chadron with 0-6 records. The Cougars opened their seasons by playing two games in Texas and the remaining four in Washington state. The women have lost by as many as 28 points and as few as five. The men’s margins have ranged from 26 down to three.
The Lady Cougars’ top gun is 5-9 junior Sam Nunes, who is averaging 11.5 points. Classmates Lourdes Gonzales and Brooke Hurlbut, both about 5-11, are averaging nine points apiece.
The Colorado Christian men also are being led by juniors. Justin Engesser is averaging 14 points, Elijah Oliver 12.8 and Jake Hornick 11.5. Spencer Hoffman, a 6-11 sophomore, is scoring at a 9.8 clip and has made all 11 of his free throws.
The Regis women are 2-4 this season. They have lost to RMAC rivals Colorado Mines 69-55 and CSU-Pueblo 69-63, both games scheduled outside of the regular league rotation. Junior Whitney Jacob leads in both scoring and rebounding at 12.7 and 8.0. Freshman guards Kali Murrell and Morgan Smith are each averaging nine points.
The Regis men, one of the preseason favorites in the RMAC, are 5-1, losing only to Western Oregon 90-69 after knocking off another Oregon team, Concordia, 80-49, the previous game. The Rangers also toppled Minnesota-Mankato 97-89 and Eastern New Mexico 84-70 in their most-recent games.
The Rangers’ top scorer has been Toni Rocak, a 6-8 native of Switzerland, at 15.3 a game. Guards Brian Dawson and Christian Little are averaging 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Rocak is one of several foreigners on the Regis roster. Others are from Australia, Italy, Lithuania and New Zealand. The Lithuanian, Tomas Auruskevicius, had made 12 of 25 three-point shots.
After this weekend’s twin-bills, the Eagles will play their next five RMAC games on the road before they’re at home again on Jan. 10.