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Snow Badgers earn road wins at CNCC and CEU
 January 14, 2013

EPHRAIM, Utah—The Snow College men kept themselves in the thick of the race for the Scenic West Athletic Conference basketball crown with a pair of much-needed road wins this past weekend. The Badgers overwhelmed Colorado Northwestern (CNCC) 74-49 Thursday night in Rangely, Colo., then pulled out a 59-56 squeaker over USU Eastern (CEU) on Saturday in Price, Utah.

Snow had lost four of its previous five games, including league losses to Salt Lake and North Idaho, but with the weekend’s wins the Badgers sit solidly in third place at 3-2 (15-4 overall) while dropping CEU to fourth place at 2-3. They both trail undefeated Salt Lake (5-0, 17-2 overall) and North Idaho (4-1, 17-3).

Following a disappointing overtime loss to North Idaho in its last game, Snow took no chances against CNCC. The Badgers went up by 11 midway through the opening period and stretched the lead to 16 by halftime, 31-15. It was more of the same after the break as the Badgers slowly pulled away through the second period, eventually winning by 25 at 74-49. The Badgers outshot the Spartans from the field 49 to 33 percent.

Sophomore Connor Van Brocklin led the way for Snow with game highs in scoring with 17 and rebounds with seven. Cheikh Sane added 11 points and six boards. Thiago Marcello had team highs with 13 points and 6 rebounds for CNCC. The loss drops CNCC to 0-5 in the SWAC and 7-13 overall.

In a seesaw contest on Saturday, CEU jumped to a 6-0 lead after the first three minutes before Snow got itself untracked and went on a 9-0 run to take a 9-6 lead five minutes into the game. CEU stormed back with a 14-4 run to go up 20-13 with eight minutes left in the first half. The Golden Eagles stretched the lead to nine, the biggest lead for either team in the game, with three minutes remaining before the break, but a pair of jumpers by Sane and a couple free throws from Van Brocklin closed out the half with CEU leading only by three, 29-26.

The second half was marked by seven lead changes (11 total in the game) with neither team ever leading by more than five. A jumper by Todd Helgeson with five minutes remaining put CEU ahead by three at 52-49. But Snow closed the game out on a 10-4 run led by five points by Van Brocklin and five straight free throws when the Badgers needed them from Haudrick Hilaire (2), Brock Smith (2) and Casey Taylor. A 3-pointer by CEU missed the mark with 11 seconds left keeping the game from going into overtime.

Hilaire led the Badgers with a game-high 15 points, dished out four assists and pulled down seven rebounds. Van Brocklin added 10 points while Sane finished with eight points and seven boards. Jeff Perkins led the Golden Eagles with 10 points, while Dytanya Johnson added nine and Jason Timpf had a game-high 10 rebounds.

Snow hosts league leading, and No. 24-ranked, Salt Lake on Saturday. CEU (2-3, 11-8) takes a trip north this week playing at Southern Idaho (1-4, 13-6) on Thursday and at No. 18-ranked North Idaho on Saturday. 

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