The thirteenth-ranked Colorado School of Mines men’s basketball team welcomed the visiting Black Hills State into their home arena on Valentine’s Day and presented the Yellow Jackets with a 21 point defeat. Four Orediggers scored in double figures on the night and Junior Brian Muller eclipsed 1000 career points in the 73-52 victory. Muller is the second this year (Wages) and third on the team (Green) to surpass 1000 career points.
The Orediggers started the game on an 8-0 run and were up 13-6 five minutes in. Halfway through the first half, Mines had increased their lead to 10 and coasted their way to a 40-29 halftime lead.
Mines maintained their lead for the first five minutes of the final stanza, before BHSU started to creep closer, getting to within six points after a missed dunk by Caleb Waitsman with 11:16 remaining. After getting a stern scolding from Coach Orser during the ensuing timeout, Waitsman responded by scoring the next five points for the Orediggers, blocking a shot, and grabbing a steal all in the next two minutes. After the timeout, the next 12 points came from either Waitsman or Trevor Ritchie, who helped Mines increase their lead to 13 points with just five minutes left in the game. The Orediggers coasted to the 21 point victory and even got the reserves into the game for the final two minutes of the blowout.
As to be expected in a blowout, the Orediggers led the Yellow Jackets in all the key categories: shooting percentage (48.3% to 40.0%), free-throw percentage (82.4% of 14-17 to 68.4%) rebounding (32-28), points off turnovers (21-6), and bench points (29-18). Mines recorded 19 turnovers in the game but neither team shot the three ball very well, with each team making three.
To lead the team in scoring, Waitsman (off the bench) and Brett Green each scored 11; Waitsman also grabbed five rebounds in his 17 minutes. Green had two assists, three steals, and a rebound in 31 minutes of play. Trevor Wages and Muller each scored 10 points. Wages filled the stat line recording five rebounds, one assist, three steals, and two blocks in 21 minutes of play and Muller added four rebounds and three steals. Trevor Ritchie led the team with four assists and both he and Gokul Natesan contributed nine points to the winning effort and Natesan also added three steals.
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