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    BHSU MBB: Home Games Open 2017 for Yellow Jackets

    THE GAME - New Mexico Highlands

    • Black Hills State and New Mexico Highlands met just once last season with the Cowboys, then the first place team in the RMAC, snuck away with a 98-95 double overtime thriller. Nick Ongarato erupted for 31 points in the game for BHSU while Max Mueller scored a career-best 15 points.
    • The Cowboys are currently 4-8 overall and 2-5 in the RMAC. Playing just once last weekend, NMHU fell 81-66 to South Dakota Mines. Prior to the December 30 contest, the Cowboys defeated Western State and CO Mesa.
    • Three Cowboys average double-figure points led by Ron Lawton at 13.9 points per game. Marlon Johnson, known for his athletic dunks, averages 13.2 points and Kieran Woods averages 12.5 points per game. Johnson, a preseason All-RMAC selection, has been named the RMAC Defensive Player of the Week twice this season.

    THE GAME - CSU-Pueblo

    • The ThunderWolves and Yellow Jackets met just last weekend on the hardwood, the last time out for CSUP. CSU-Pueblo led for the majority of the game but BHSU took the lead with under three minutes to play before Rico Spikes scored the final two of his 16 points to win the game. Fraser Malcolm scored a game-high 17 points.
    • CSU-Pueblo is technically a half-game out of first place in the RMAC having played one less game than Fort Lewis and CO Christian but sit atop the RMAC rankings with a 6-1 record and 8-4 overall.
    • Mark Williams leads the ThunderWolves with 14.4 points per game while Preseason All-RMAC selection Nelson Kahler is third on the team with 12.1 points per game.

    Black Hills State got close but that only counts in horseshoes as the Yellow Jackets dropped a pair of games last weekend to two squads tied atop the RMAC in CSU-Pueblo 65-64 and CO Christian 65-71.

    At CSUP, the Yellow Jackets trailed for most of the game before taking their first lead with 2:52 remaining and went ahead by four points at 62-59. The ThunderWolves powered back and scored the game-winning basket with 11 ticks on the clock. Fraser Malcolm scored a game-high 17 points while Max Mueller grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds. 

    At CO Christian, BHSU opened at 20-point lead in the first half but let it slip away in the six-point loss. Jonas Anderson had a career-game with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting while Malcolm added 13 points. 

    Without owning a victory on the road in 2016-17, Black Hills State has found success on its home court with a 5-3 record in the Donald E. Young Center. The home hardwood advantage extends to more than victories with BHSU averaging 71.5 points per game in the Young Center with a +10.1 scoring margin. On the road, that is flipped to 49.5 points per game and a -23.5 scoring margin. 

    Black Hills State has dropped four of its last five games but what the Win/Loss column doesn't say is how competitive the Yellow Jackets have been in those games. In two of the games, the Green and Gold were outdone by a game-winning basket. In the other two, the Yellow Jackets lost by five points and six points. The average margin of defeat over its last four losses has been 3.2 points.

    Colorado Christian is tied atop the RMAC standings with a 7-1 record while CSU-Pueblo is just a half game out of first place with a 6-1 conference record. The Yellow Jackets took both squads to the wire in three out of the last four BHSU games. Against CCU in the Young Center, BHSU fell by five points while the Green and Gold held a one-point advantage at CSUP with 11 seconds remaining. At CO Christian, the Yellow Jackets got off to a hot start and a 20-point lead before falling by six points.

    1,000-POINT WATCH
    Although he won't join the Yellow Jacket 1,000-point club until he reaches the milestone in a Yellow Jacket uniform, Zach McLemore has a chance to reach 1,000 post high school points as he tallied 787 points at CO Christian, including 441 points as a sophomore. Through 14 games with BHSU, McLemore has tallied a career total of 957 points. 

    Black Hills State is 0-6 in the 2016-17 season on the road and looks to turn that around with four of its next six games on the road. BHSU started the 2014-15 campaign off with an 0-5 record in true away contests with another loss on a neutral court. The first victory on an opponents floor was December 20 at Regis when Myles Henry hit the game-winning basket with time expiring.

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