Diggers Overcome 19-Point Deficit In 72-67 Victory Over Chadron State
GOLDEN – Led by twin 20-point efforts from Luke Meisch and Trevor Wages, including 25 points and 10 boards combined from the pair in the second half, the Colorado School of Mines men's basketball team overcame a 19-point, first-half deficit to defeat Chadron State, 72-67, in RMAC action on Friday evening at Lockridge Arena in Golden.
Mines (5-2, 2-1 RMAC) turned up the second-half defense to hold the Eagles (0-7, 0-3 RMAC) to 26.3 percent shooting (5-of-19) after the visitors shot 58.1 percent, including a blistering 9-of-14 from the perimeter, in the first half.
The first half started with Mines taking an early 9-8 lead through the first four-plus minutes, but that would quickly turn into a deficit that continued throughout the remainder of the first half and the opening 10 minutes of the second.
The Eagles pushed their lead to as much as 19 points in the opening stanza and headed into the break with a commanding 46-30 lead over the two-time defending RMAC Champions.
A tip-in by Wages after a long 3-point attempt by Meisch trimmed the Eagles' lead to 10 points at 46-36 with 18:06 to play, and a layup by freshman Garrett Loew with 17:33 to play trimmed the lead to eight points at 46-38.
Two made free throws by CSC's Chris Taylor with 15:01 to go pushed his squad's lead back to 10 points at 53-40. A layup by Meisch with 13:26 to go trimmed the lead back down to 10 points at 55-45.
Nine consecutive points by Wages – the latter five coming on a thundering transition dunk and a plus-one layup – cut the deficit down to three points at 55-52 with 10:57 to play.
A 3-point basket by freshman Ry Walter with 10:26 remaining tied up the game for the first time since the early minutes of the first half, but CSC quickly pushed the lead back out to four points at 59-55 with 8:37 remaining on a 3-point basket by Zac Bargen.
A trifecta by Meisch again tied up the game at 61-61 with 5:06 to play in the contest, and after the teams traded buckets, Mines took its first lead since since the first half, 65-63, on a pair of free throws by Meisch with 2:48 to play.
A pair of free throws by Justyn Anderson with 49 seconds remaining trimmed the Oredigger lead to 66-65, but a flagrant foul and subsequent made free throws by rookie Ruben Jackson pushed Mines back out front by three points at 68-65 with 38 seconds remaining.
Walter made a pair of free throws with 20 seconds remaining to push Mines' lead to 70-65, but the lead was trimmed to 70-67 on a pair of made free throws by Anderson with nine seconds remaining.
Freshman Trey Winbush put the finishing touches on the comeback victory with a pair of free throws with seconds remaining.
Mines made its final six free throws to cap off a second half that featured a 42-21 points advantage and a 20-to-6 advantage in points in the paint. The Orediggers got an 11-to-2 advantage in bench points in the second stanza from newcomers Walter and Jackson, who finished a combined 3-of-4 from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.
Wages recorded his second-straight double-double, and third of the season, with a 20-point, 12-rebound performance on an 8-for-11 shooting effort from the field.
Meisch set a career high with his 20-point effort while adding eight rebounds, including five on the offensive end. He finished 7-of-11 from the field, 2-for-3 from the perimeter and 4-of-6 from the foul line to finish with his sixth game in double figures for scoring in seven contests this season.
Sophomore Brian Muller added 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting from the field, while Jackson added nine and four assists on a 3-of-5 shooting effort.
Mines will close out a two-game home stand on Saturday when it hosts Black Hills State at Lockridge Arena at 7 p.m.