Chadron State College true freshman shooting guard Dru Kuxhausen went on a tear hitting 11-of-13 from the field, and 5-of-6 from three-point range, to finish with 28 points, but the Eagles couldn’t overcome a deficit in turnovers and offensive rebounds, losing 79-67 to the Metropolitan State University of Denver Roadrunners, on the road Saturday evening.
“Dru played with a lot of confidence,” said CSC Head Coach Houston Reed. “He has to trust his training, and he can’t overthink things. His offensive play gave us a chance in the second half. He fell hard tonight, and we need to give him some rest and take a look at it when we get back home.”
Though Kuxhausen was hot, the rest of the Eagles hit just 36.7 percent of their field goals, and were 0-for-6 from long range, as the Roadrunners recorded 23 points off turnovers and eight off the offensive glass to down the Eagles in Denver.
The Eagles led only once, at 14:49 on the first half clock, after consecutive threes by Kuxhausen made it 8-7 Chadron State.
A series of three dunks by the Roadrunners, wrapped around a Kyle Lawson three-pointer, pushed MSU Denver out to a double digit lead early on.
Nevertheless, CSC never trailed by more than 11 in the first 20 minutes, going into half down 35-27 off of a couple of free throws by MSU Denver’s Allec Williams.
Coming back out for the second half, the Eagles surged back to within five points at 12:05 on the clock.
A turning point in the game came with 5:32 remaining, when the Roadrunners’ Cam Williams took a steal across the court, and a hard foul by Kuxhausen sent both players sprawling.
Williams recovered to hit both free throws after a replay showed the officials evidence for a flagrant foul. He recovered to score eight of the Roadrunners’ final 17 points, while Kuxhausen was visibly disabled after the collision.
“We’ve taken some hits on some plays,” said Reed, “and sometimes we’ve been in the right spots. We didn’t get some calls this weekend, and that’s part of conference play on the road.”
The Roadrunners’ Cameron Williams led his team with 24 points, on 7-of-13 shooting and 9-of-11 foul line success.
Chadron State falls to 3-7 (1-3 RMAC) with the loss, while MSU Denver improves to 4-6, with a 3-1 conference record.
The Eagles play next, as part of a six-game road swing, at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, at approximately 7:30 p.m. Friday night.
Score by halves:
1 2 Total
Chadron State 27 40 67
MSU Denver 35 44 79