By: Con Marshall
CSC Sports Information
ABERDEEN, S.D. -- November 22, 2019 -- For the fourth time in four games this season, the Chadron State College men's basketball team made things close, but came out on the short end of the 62-59 decision while playing the University of Sioux Falls in the opening game of the Dacotah Bank Classic at Aberdeen, S.D. on Friday afternoon.
"We need to improve mentally," said CSC Head Men's Basketball Coach Houston Reed, "and we're still figuring out some things with our lineup. We have to be focused on team, first, and not on playing time and minutes."
"We feel totally different about our team if one possession goes our way in some of these games. We're not any different of a team either way, but we need to get a lot better."
The Eagles have now lost games by one and three points and another in overtime. Sioux Falls is 3-1.
The Eagles made their first two shots of the game and held a 9-4 lead before not scoring again for nearly 11 minutes. CSC Coach Houston Reed noted that at least five layups and/or short jumpers refused to drop for his team during the drought, which allowed Sioux Falls to go on a 19-0 run and take a 23-9 lead.
The Cougars led 29-17 at halftime.
Chadron State was a different team in the second half, sinking seven of its 11 field goal attempts in the first nine minutes while cutting the Cougars' lead to 42-39 with 11 minutes remaining.
The Eagles never completely caught up but cut the difference 60-59 with 58 seconds left on a three-pointer by Brian Rodriguez and two free throws by Michael Sparks.
The Cougars' Chase Grinde closed out the scoring with an off-balance jumper with 30 seconds to play. Chadron State was called for a double dribble an instant later.
Sioux Fall left the door open for the Eagles to pull the game out of the fire by missing four consecutive free throws in the fleeting seconds. But CSC failed to connect on a three-pointer with nine seconds left and a length-of the court shot at the buzzer.
Austin Slater, a 6-9 junior, led Sioux Falls with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Grinde added 11 points and William Lybaek 10 for the Cougars.
Sparks, a senior guard, was 9-of-10 at the free throw line to pace the Eagles with 12 points. Both point guard Colby Jackson and alternate center Kenan Gray added 11 points. Rodriguez contributed nine points and a team-high nine rebounds.
The Eagles will tangle with the Northern State Wolves, the classic's host team, Saturday afternoon.
Chadron State--Michael Sparks 12, Colby Jackson 11, Kenan Gray 11, Brian Rodriguez 9, Brady Delimont 6, Walker Andrew 5, Jacob Jefferson 3, Dominic Coleman 2. Totals: 15-41 (5-18) 24-29, 59 points, 27 rebounds, 17 turnovers.
Sioux Falls--Austin Slater 16, Chase Grinde 11, William Lybaek 10, Devin Green 8, Milan Surlic 5, Pal Teathloech 4, Troy Houghton 3, Trevon Adams 3, Jack Thompson 2. Totals: 21-52 (5-13) 15-24, 62 points, 36 rebounds, 17 turnovers.
Chadron State 17 42 ----59
Sioux Falls 29 33 ----62
3-pointers: CSC--Delimont 2, Rodriguez 1, Andrew 1, Sparks 1. USF--Slater, Lybaek, Green, Surlic, Adams, all 1.