Three Western New Mexico players scored at least 20 points and the Mustangs erased an early 14-0 deficit to defeat Chadron State College 83-69 in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference game Thursday evening in Chadron.
D.J. Nicholas led the Mustangs with 26 points and seven rebounds, while J.J. Galbreth added 21 points and Devin Stewart chipped in 20. Chadron State is now 5-9 and 1-6 in conference play.
The Eagles jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in the opening six and a half minutes, but the Mustangs continued to chip away for the remainder of the half, eventually tying the game at 38-38 when Justin Williams knocked down a long, buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Both teams were identical from the field in the first half, hitting 14 of 27 shots (51.9 percent).
In the second half, Western New Mexico continued its hot shooting – the Mustangs were 16 of 28 in the half, while limiting CSC to 12 of 36 from the field – but the Eagles stayed close until the 5-minute mark. However, Western New Mexico went on an 8-2 scoring run in a two-minute span to go ahead 72-61. The Eagles cut the lead to seven twice, but Western New Mexico was able to respond with a bucket of its own to stymie any CSC comeback.
The Mustangs put the game away in the closing minutes thanks to solid shooting from the free throw line. In the final two and a half minutes, they were 11 of 15 from the charity stripe. In that stretch, Williams was five of six and Nicholas hit all four of his attempts.
Tim McLaurin led the Eagles with 26 points. Three others finished in double figures, including Kevin McClelland, Tyler Coffman and Stacy McAlister. McClelland scored 11 points, and both Coffman and McAlister added 10.
Marco DeSouza led CSC on the glass with nine rebounds. In addition, DeSouza and McAlister each had four assists.
The Eagles will host Black Hills State in a non-conference game Saturday evening at Armstrong Gymnasium. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Story courtesy of Chadron athletics.