CHADRON, Neb. – Colorado School of Mines' women's basketball made a valiant push to climb back from 16-point deficit on the road at Chadron State, but the first half hole proved too arduous to overcome as the Orediggers fell short, 76-62, Saturday at Armstrong Gymnasium in Chadron, Nebraska.
Down 35-19 with 3:04 left in the first half, Mines cut the Eagles' advantage to 40-27 at the break and twice got as close as four in the first 3:27 of the second on consecutive three-pointers in a 37-second span from senior Angie Charchalis and sophomore Taylor Helbig.
The Orediggers scored 16 of the first 23 points in the frame to get within 44-40, however could draw no closer than eight points over the final 9:12 as CSC evened the season series at 1-1.
After 14-of-27 (51.9 percent) shooting in the first, the Eagles converted just 31.2 percent of their field goal tries after halftime, but built a 12-point advantage at the charity stripe with 16-of-20 second free half throws. CSC finished 22-of-29 (75.9 percent) at the line for the evening, while Mines hit only 10-of-18 (55.6 percent).
The Orediggers were 22-of-63 (34.9 percent) overall and matched Chadron State from behind the arc, connecting on 8-of-19 (41.2 percent) looks.
Charchalis led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting and in the process, passed Kelly Hadley (1983-87) for third on the school's career scoring list with 1,365 points. She has accumulated 21 points or more in eight games and topped 10 points or more 17 times.
Helbig continued her run of double-figure games with 20 points, hitting 6-of-17 from the field, 3-of-6 from distance and 5-of-7 at the stripe. She also had a game-high three takeaways and three rebounds. Tied with Charchalis for the team lead with most 20-point games, including six in the last 10, Helbig has reached double digits in a season-best 10 consecutive contests, dating back to Jan. 12 against Metro State.
Junior Allie Grazulis, the conference leader in rebounds, tallied a team-high 10 caroms, her third straight and RMAC-best 13th double-digit effort on the glass.
Four Eagles starters finished in double figures, led by Kattie Ranta with a 20-point, 14-rebound double-double. Dallas Shaw posted 19 points, Kate Simonton had 16 and Hattie Guzman added 10.
Despite the setback, Mines (13-12, 10-9 RMAC) remains tied for sixth in the conference with Colorado Christian which lost to Black Hills State earlier tonight, while CSC improved to 5-18 and 5-14 in the RMAC, still mathematically in contention for the final spot in the postseason tournament.
The top eight teams receive a berth in the RMAC Tournament Quarterfinals on March 5 with the top four seeds earning the right to host.
With the road portion of the schedule complete, the Orediggers end the regular season with three home games at Lockridge Arena, beginning at 6 p.m. next Friday, Feb. 22 with a visit from New Mexico Highlands.