The Chadron State men’s basketball team jumped out to a 14-2 lead in the first 4:44 and seldom looked back while defeating Nebraska-Kearney 70-55 in a non-conference game in the Chicoine Center Thursday night.
The Eagles, now 2-2, made six of their first eight field goal attempts and also came up with four steals during the early scoring splurge.
Kearney cut the lead to 21-17 with 10:43 to play in the opening half, but the Eagles were ahead 37-25 at halftime and led by at least that margin rest of the way. The Eagles once led by 25.
Michael Sparks, a 5-10 junior, was not on the floor when the Eagles were building their early 12-point lead, but he definitely provided more spark once he entered the game. He was the game’s only double-figure scorer at halftime with 10 points and finished with a game-high 18 points.
Sparks was seven of 14 from the field, including four of eight from 3-point range, and also handed out six assists.
Center Charles Gavin added 14 points to go with seven rebounds for the Eagles. Redshirt freshman Jacob Jefferson contributed 10 points, point guard Jaisean Jackson eight and forward Jeremy Ruffin scored six points, grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and had four steals.
Another CSC guard, Brady Delimont, helped the Eagles get out of the chute fast by nailing a pair of 3-pointers during the opening run.
For the game, the Eagles shot 47.7 percent (31-65) including eight of 18 from behind the arc. Ironically, Chadron State never went to the free throw line. Just six fouls were called on the Lopers, three of them charges that Jackson took.
The Lopers were 21 of 62 overall from the field for 33.9 percent, including four of 16 from 3-point territory. They were nine of 15 from the free throw line.
Freshman Kanon Koster led the Lopers with 16 points and Henry Penner added 11. No one else had more than six points.
Nebraska-Kearney 25 30 —55
Chadron State 37 33 —70
Nebraska-Kearney–Kanon Koster 15, Henry Penner 11, Sam Morris 6, Weston Baker Magrath 6, Austin Luger 6, Carter Burns 5, AJ Jackson 4, Chase Winchester 2. Totals: 21-62 (4-16) 9-15 55 points, 39 rebounds, 16 turnovers.
Chadron State–Michael Sparks 18, Charles Gavin 14, Jacob Jefferson 10, Jaisean Jackson 8, Jeremy Ruffin 6, Brady Delimont 6, Walker Andrew 4, Adoum Mbang 4. Totals: 31-65 (8-18) 0-0 70 points, 40 rebounds, 13 turnovers.
3-pounters: UNK–Penner 3, Burns 1. CSC–Sparks 4, Delimont 2, Jefferson 2.