The Colorado School of Mines men’s basketball absolutely dominated Nebraska-Kearney in their home opener Saturday night, winning by 35 points, 104-69. Six different Orediggers were in double figures, and Mines shot over 50% as a team.
Mines (2-0) took a while to shake off a pesky UNK team in the first half, and looked to be in for a dogfight through the first eight minutes of the half, until a timely Brian Muller three, and a couple Trevor Wages buckets extended the lead to seven points. From the midway point of the first half on, Mines never looked back, and at halftime they led 28-45. The second half was dominated by the Orediggers who outscored UNK 59-41, en route to the 104-69 victory.
While the game may have been a blowout, the highlight of the night came during garbage time. After an Oredigger turnover with just 3:00 remaining, UNK’s Cory Frank went on the fast break and eyed up an easy layup, but at the last minute Clay Boatwright came in to block the shot and ignite both the bench and the crowd. Boatwright ended up with three blocks on the night, and added four rebounds and four points.
Freshman Gokul Natseen provided a spark off the bench going 3-of-4 from behind the arc and 5-of-5 from the stripe to lead the team with 18 points, and also chipped in four steals. Trevor Ritchie scored 17 and went 8-of-9 from the free-throw line, added three steals, two rebounds, and led the team with seven assists. The powerful duo of Trevor Wages and Luke Meisch both grabbed eight boards and had 10 points and 15 points respectively. Muller went 3-for-4 from three and had five assists to go along with his 13 points, and Brett Green chipped in 12 points, three steals, three assists, and two rebounds. Off the bench, Caleb Waitsman had four rebounds and four points, and Will Carr grabbed three rebounds and added four points.
As a team, Mines shot 53.1% from the field, 50% from three, and 81.8% (27-33) from the charity Stripe. Mines outrebounded UNK, 70-28 and won the turnover battle 20-24 while getting twice as many fastbreak points, and getting 37 bench points to only 19 by UNK. The Orediggers play again next Saturday in South Dakota against S.D. School of Mines.