The Mines basketball squads completed a dominant doubleheader sweep over the visting University of Nebraska-Kearney Lopers Saturday at Lockridge Arena.
Mines’ women’s team ended a recent two game losing streak, cruising to a 91-77 victory behind an exceptional offensive performance. The Lady Orediggers scored an incredible 55 points in a second half that featured 55 field goal attempts, 28 three point attempts, and an astounding 101 combined total points.
Leading by just five at the break, Mines erupted on a 22-6 run to open the second half and run away with victory. The Lopers would go on a run of their own late in the half, pulling to within nine at 82-73, but it was too little too late as the Orediggers pulled away for the victory.
Mines’ Angie Charchalis led all scorers with 25 points, hitting four three-pointers and finishing 11-12 from the charity stripe. Senior Steph Fogle and Katie Carty each added 12 points apiece and freshman Taylor Helbig added a team high five assists in the win.
For the Orediggers, the 91 total points was the highest point total they have scored in nearly five years, dating back to a 91-81 victory over Chadron State College, 158 games ago. With the win, Mines improved to 6-9 in the RMAC. They are currently tied for seventh in the RMAC with five other 6-9 teams with eight games remaining. Those eight games become highly critical, as the top eight teams advance to the RMAC Tournament with a chance to advance to the Division II National Championship Tournament.
The late game featured the 11th-ranked men’s team seeking to avenge one of its only two losses on the season. Mines left no doubt about the final result, racing out to an 18-5 lead and never looking back. The Orediggers dominated the Kearney defense, building a 24-point lead on the strength of strict passing and a series of high precision layups. Mines played much of the second half on cruise control, allowing Kearney to close the final margin to within 20, but the Orediggers still managed to cruise to a dominant victory, 77-61.
Dale Minschwaner and Brett Green each scored 17 points to lead the Mines team, which advanced to 17-2 on the season. Center Trevor Wages added 12 while Brian Muller had 11 and Nico Mucci had 10 as the Orediggers had five different players score in double figures for the second straight night.
Next Saturday night, the Orediggers play perhaps the most important game of the regular season at Metro State with a chance to complete a sweep and gain complete command of the RMAC title race. Metro lost a pair of games last weekend to Western State and Colorado Mesa, which means that a Mines victory would put the Orediggers two full wins in front of Metro State with the tiebreaker, and only five RMAC games to play. The Oredigger faithful need to come out in force on this short road trip to downtown, to cheer the team on to victory in this crucial contest. The game begins at 5:00 PM this Saturday at the Auraria Event Center on the Metro campus in downtown Denver.