TWIN FALLS — The Colorado Northwestern Community College men’s basketball team never cooled down Saturday night, but the College of Southern Idaho was hot enough to hold off the Spartans for a Scenic West Athletic Conference win.
A late rally lifted the Golden Eagles to a 117-101 victory over the Spartans Saturday at CSI.
The score was 55-54 in favor of CSI at halftime, and head coach Jared Phay was visibly unhappy. He was livid with the referees, so much that he earned a technical foul for arguing in the second half. That passion carried over to multiple team huddles during timeouts.
“(Phay) was trying to get us to pick up our energy and pick it up on defense,” CSI sophomore Jake Hendricks said. “They were getting all kinds of shots. I bet that’s the best game they played all year.”
CNCC (8-14 overall, 1-5 SWAC) shot 53.9 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from 3-point range in the game.
But CSI was right there with them — 51.3 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from 3. It also outrebounded CNCC 48-31.
The Golden Eagles build an 89-80 lead with 8:33 left in the game, but CNCC went on a 10-3 run to pull within two. The momentum didn’t last long. CSI went on a 20-8 run the next six minutes to earn the victory.
A full-court press helped CSI pull away, Hendricks said.
“They got a little out of control, and that really helped us,” he said.
Hendricks had one of his best games of the season, scoring 28 points on efficient shooting: 8-of-14 from the field, 8-of-13 from 3.
Charles Jones Jr. added 23 points (9-of-19 on field goals) and eight rebounds for the Golden Eagles, while Roche Grootfaam tallied 17 points on perfect shooting: 5-of-5 from the field and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.
Danya Kingsy added 15 points (4-of-8 on FGs) and five assists, and Tommy Burton had 11 points (4-of-9) and seven rebounds.
CSI (21-3, 5-1) hosts Salt Lake CC on Thursday. The Golden Eagles are No. 12 in the NJCAA Division I poll, and SLCC is No. 4.