Orediggers Fall short in NCAA Tourney

In what would prove to be the final game of the season for the No. 13 Colorado School of Mines men’s basketball team, the Orediggers fell once again to the Metro State Roadrunners. After falling behind the No. 1 team in the country by 16 late in the second half, the Orediggers cut the lead to three in the waning seconds only to lose by four, 86-82.

In what was another hotly contested game between Mines and RMAC rival Metro State, the Orediggers kept the game close for the opening nine minutes only to fall behind by 14 with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half. Metro’s largest lead of the game came with 4:58 remaining, at 17 points (19-36). At halftime the Orediggers were behind 46-33.

In the opening minutes of the second half, the Orediggers never could cut into the deficit. Both teams traded baskets and Metro kept their lead in double figures, but with the second stanza reaching the halfway points, the Orediggers found a spark. With Metro leading 67-51 with 8:58 remaining, Mines closed the lead to six points at 79-73 with 2:23 left, and with just 11 seconds remaining, the Orediggers had cut the lead to three points, 82-85. However, after a free throw by the Roadrunners, the Orediggers missed a three point attempt and fell just short of a comeback.

In their final game as Orediggers, Brett Green, Luke Meisch, Trevor Ritchie, and Trevor Wages each scored in double figures. Green led the team with 16 points and five assists, and added two steals and two rebounds. Meisch had 14 points, five rebounds, and two assists. Ritchie scored 11 to go along with one rebound, two assists, and one steal; and Wages led the team with eight rebounds, and added one block, one steal, one assist, and 11 points. Brian Muller (junior) scored 12 and chipped in three rebounds. Off the bench, Caleb Waitsman chipped in seven points and four rebounds, Gokul Natesan added five points and two steals, and Will Carr contributed six points.

As a team, the Orediggers shot 41.7% from the field, 74.3% from the charity stripe, and 33.3% from three. Metro shot 48.3% from the field and 41.2% from three. The Orediggers were outrebounded 40-31, but won the battle in the paint with 38 points to Metro’s 32.

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