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Big bench play helps Highlands roll Regis

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Balanced scoring and superior bench productivity enabled host New Mexico Highlands to neutralize Matt Rosinski, Regis’ big gun, in an 86-68 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference men’s basketball win Saturday night at the Wilson Complex.

The Cowboys salvaged a weekend split after having lost to nationally ranked Metro State by a 97-79 margin Friday.

NMHU (9-6 overall, 3-4 RMAC) and coach Joe Harge host Mesa State and Western State this Friday and Saturday to continue the homestand.

Led by Mindaugas Markevicius, who scored 13 of his team-high 16 points in the first half, the Cowboys ran up a 46-33 advantage in the opening 20 minutes of play.

Highlands held the Rangers (6-9, 1-6) to 39 percent shooting for the night; the visitors’ 22-of-26 foul shooting effort (compared to 10 of 16 for the home team) kept the spread from getting even more out of hand.

Rosinski was 11 of 24 from the floor and sank all nine of his free throws to collect 31 points, easily the game high. But while only Curtis Mitchell joined Rosinski in double figures for Regis, Highlands got plenty of help from across the roster.

Thirteen Cowboys got into the scorebook, and the NMHU bench outscored its Regis counterpart 34-17. In addition to Markevicius’ 16 , Chop Tang (12 points, six rebounds), Kelvin Franklin (11 points, four boards) and Chris Dunn (10 points, three rebounds, two blocks) hit double digits. Usual leading scorer Roman Andrade — held to eight points — contributed six assists and three boards. Mike Moody had nine points.

Robertson product Justin Montoya had three points, two boards and a steal. Another onetime Cardinal, Daniel Gutierrez, was credited with a rebound.

Friday, Reggie Evans torched NMHU for 40 points in Metro’s win. Andrade had 26, Franklin 23 and Markevicius 12.