Men's College Basketball: Raiders knock off Riverland
The Central Lakes College Raiders finished up their non-division schedule Saturday with the CLC Winter Classic getting a 87-61 win over Riverland to finish the first part of their 2013-14 campaign with a 6-7 record.
Bryan Gichaba scored 24 points to lead all scorers and Alex Koch finished with 17 points. Isaac Sawyer also climbed to double figures with 14 points.
The Raiders were the model of efficiency on offense as they shot 55 percent from the field, while only committing 10 turnovers. They also took advantage of 24 Blue Devil turnovers as they led Riverland by a margin of 41-12 in points scored off turnovers.
“I think the guys took care of the basketball tonight and took good shots,” said head coach Jim Russell. “Overall, your defense creates that and we were able to get in a rhythm and I think we might have found our best defense. We shared the basketball and shot well.”
Coming off of a poor shooting night in a 13-point loss to Minnesota West Friday, the Raiders aimed to set a different tone in Saturday’s game.
“Our attitude today was just to come out and play the game,” said sophomore John Jednek ,who finished with eight points and six rebounds. “Lately our practices have been different than our play, and we just made the commitment today to come out and play like we practice. We were worried about making mistakes, but we all have potential and just wanted to show it and not worry about the rest.”
Russell said the coaching staff also made a commitment to change after Friday’s game.
“We changed our attitude and are focusing on the positives,” he said. “As a coach I need to know what my guys react to and we made a commitment that we would change and the players would change, too.”
Behind six early points from Gichaba, the Raiders built a seven-point lead at the 11:58 mark of the first half. They increased it to 22-7 on a basket from Sawyer at the 9:08 mark, and they took a 38-26 lead to the locker room.
The Raiders put the game out of reach early in the second half as they ran off nine straight points to build a 19-point lead.
“We finally had some better team chemistry and were making the short shots,” Jednek said. “We missed a few here and there, but we are gaining confidence.”
CLC will start division play Wednesday when it hosts Fond du Lac.
“Defense usually creates offense and we haven’t had that so our games have been close,” Russell said. “We are learning how to finish a game and overall we needed that.
“The preseason is over and this game will give us confidence as we move into divisional play. I think we are ready and these guys will always work hard. As a coach I need to compliment that and lead and direct them.”
Riverland 26 35 — 61
Central Lakes 38 49 — 87
Guilermo DeDiego 17, Andrew Lau 8, Bobbie Stephens 6, Tuckler Kinniry 5, Goliath Oboyo 13, Gary Cook 4, Connor Andrews 2, Brandon Kowalski 2, Zach Hinrichs 4. FG 20-46 (44 percent), FT 17-24 (71 percent). 3-point 4-15 (27 percent).
Benji Subah 8, Danon Briggs 5, Isaac Sawyer 14, Bryan Gichaba 24, John Jedneak 8, Herbert Tarpeh 9, EJ Ziegler 2, Alex Koch 17. FG 32-58 (55 percent), FT 15-21 (71 percent). 3-point 8-20 (40 percent). Overall: 6-7. Next: hosts Fond Du Lac, 8 p.m. Wednesday.