Roche Grootfaam dunk vs. Casper

CSI sophomore forward Roche Grootfaam slams a dunk against Casper College Saturday night at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.

Photo by Steve Conner, Courtesy of CSI

TWIN FALLS — The College of Southern Idaho men’s basketball team rebounded from Friday’s season-opening loss with a commanding 87-64 win over Casper College Saturday night to end the Fisher’s Tech Invite.

“We just played the right way today,” CSI head coach Jared Phay said over the phone. “We just had more energy, guys moving around and taking pride defensively.”

Defense, Phay said, made the difference Saturday after a 92-87 loss to Western Nebraska CC the day before. CSI led Casper 34-30 at halftime and outscored the Thunderbirds 53-34 in the second half.

“Obviously, we don’t like losing, but I think we needed it,” Phay said. “Hopefully, we think about that loss all season.”

CSI’s Khalid Thomas had a huge game, scoring a game-high 25 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the field and a 4-of-5 performance from behind the 3-point line.

Roche Grootfaam had 18 points (8-of-11 from the field), and Jake Hendricks added 17 (6-of-12 from the field, 4-10 from 3-point range).

As a team, CSI shot 50 percent (32-of-64) from the floor and 48.1 percent (13-of-27) from beyond the arc.

The 10-ranked Golden Eagles (3-1) host next weekend’s Wright Physical Therapy Shootout. They face Columbia Basin College on Friday night.

CSI women drop first game of season

MESA, Ariz. — The CSI women’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season on the final day of the Mesa Tournament.

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Cochise College won 65-58 on Saturday to drop the Golden Eagles’ record to 4-1.

CSI outscored Cochise 17-12 in the first quarter and was outscored 34-33 in the second half. A 19-8 second quarter ultimately sunk the Golden Eagles.

As a team, Cochise shot 49.1 percent from the field and 35.7 from 3-point range. CSI shot 35.6 and 18.2 percent, respectively, in both categories.

For the Golden Eagles, Tiena Afu scored 20 points (7-of-20 on field goals), Mallory Lappole scored 13 (5-of-9) and Filer High School graduate Meghan Hughes had eight.

CSI next plays Tuesday at Western Wyoming.

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