Metro State tops Colorado Mines
Roadrunners make first Elite Eight appearance since 2005
GOLDEN, Colo. -- Metro State upset top-seeded Colorado Mines 73-64 on Tuesday night, to advance to the Elite Eight. The Roadrunners improved to 25-6 this season by winning the Central Region Tournament, while CSM's season came to an end at 29-3.
It is the first Elite Eight appearance for Metro State since 2005 when Mike Dunlap was head coach. The Roadrunners captured national championships in 2000 and 2002.
Central Region tournament most valuable player Reggie Evans played all 40 minutes scored a game-high 22 points and had nine rebounds and three assists. Demetrius Miller, also named to the all-tournament team, had 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-4 from the outside.
Brandon Jefferson scored 17 points --15 in the second half -- and hit 3-of-7 from the outside. He sunk all four of his free-throw attempts in the final 30 seconds to help seal the win.
Jonathan Morse was also an all-tournament selection and pulled down nine rebounds and scored four points with three steals before fouling out. Nicholas Kay also fouled out with five rebounds, four points and four steals.
Metro shot 50 percent from the floor in the game, including 6-of-12 on 3-point field goals. The Roadrunners also committed just nine turnovers and held a 37-32 rebounding margin.
The Roadrunners got off to a blistering start, leading 13-0 after Evans scored with 14:52 left in the first half. CSM started the game 0-for-7 from the floor, while Metro shot 6-for-8 during that same time.
The Orediggers did not score until Brian Muller sunk two free throws with 14:26 to go, cutting the lead back to 13-2. However, Muller's free throws started a 15-4 run that cut Metro's lead to two points at 17-15 with 7:57 on the clock.
The Orediggers took their first and only lead of the game at 26-25 on a 3-pointer by Brett Green with 2:12 left in the first half. But Metro scored seven consecutive points to close out the half with a 32-26 lead after Evans finished a 3-point play at the free throw line with 2.7 seconds to go.
Metro State shot 46.4 percent in the first half and a strong defense held CSM to 36.4 percent and held a 19-16 rebounding margin.
CSM cut the lead to 39-34 with 15:43 left when Miller buried his third 3-pointer of the game and Evans followed with two free throws to extend the lead to 44-34 with 14:05 to go.
The Orediggers caught some momentum with 3:24 to play. Metro State's starting centerNicholas Kay fouled out as a technical foul was issued to him for an elbow as he tried to escape a foul committed by CSM's Trevor Wages. Substitute Tyler Cooper missed the 1-and-1 free throw attempt for Kay and Muller made two free throws and then hit a floater on the ensuing possession from the technical, cutting Metro's lead to 63-56 with 3:03 left.
With the shot clock winding down on Metro's next possession, Jefferson banked in a 26-foot 3-pointer as the shot clock horn sounded with a hand in his face, stretching the lead back to 10 points with 2:25 left.
Metro State maintained a seven-point lead the rest of the game.