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    SD Mines MBB: Hardrockers Open Home Schedule Against Battle-Tested JWU

    RAPID CITY, S.D. --- The South Dakota School of Mines men’s basketball team’s home opener is slated for Friday night at the King Center in Rapid City, S.D., where the Hardrockers will play host to the Johnson and Wales University Wildcats in a 7:30 p.m. matchup. 

    The Hardrockers return home to the friendly confines of Goodell Gymnasium after opening the 2017-18 campaign on their annual Texas road trip. SD Mines traveled down to Kingsville Texas this past weekend where they came up short to Texas A&M – Kingsville (78-65), and then bounced back the following night in Laredo, Texas, with a 93-66 drubbing of Texas A&M – International. It was the worst blowout for the Dustdevils on their home court since the Lone Start Conference team became a NCAA Div. II program. 

    Lots of new faces are on the floor for SD Mines this season. 

    After two games, sophomore Jake Heath (last season’s RMAC Freshman of The Year) and red-shirt freshman Troy Brady lead the offense, each scoring 14.5 points per game while sophomore Logan Elers and red-shirt freshman Wilfred Dickson provide 9.5 and 8.5 points a game respectively. Sophomore Triston Von Nieda is also doing his part, averaging eight rebounds and scoring seven points per game. 

    Johnson and Wales has a jump on the season, already playing six games this year, and despite having an 0-6 overall record, the Wildcats have walked through fire, challenging Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference members: Adams State (Colo.), Westminster College (Utah), University of Colorado Colorado Springs and Regis University (Colo.). 

    “They’ve had a heck of a schedule already,” said Hardrocker head coach Jason Henry. “This is a team that -- historically ---  has always gives us a great game. They’ve played all these great teams already this season and have always been prepared when they challenge us. It’s going to be a great game.” 

    And despite taking their lumps, the Wildcats are scoring 71 points per game, shooting 42.2 percent from the field and 34 percent from the three-point line. 

    The Hardrockers game plan will be to keep tabs on JWU’s top players Andrew Romerio (24.7 ppg; 6.7 rpg) and Jontrell Herman (19.7 ppg; 6.2 rpg). As they go so does the Wildcats, so SD Mines will do their best to shut them down. 

    “We’ll need to bring our ‘A’ game when we play (JWU),” Henry said. 

    The game against Grace University on Saturday has been cancelled. The Grace College men’s program has suspended their season.

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