Roman Andrade hit five three-pointers on his way to tallying 33 points Friday night as New Mexico Highlands picked up its first league victory, a 98-82 verdict against visiting Colorado-Colorado Springs.
Apparently eager to snap a two-game slide, the Cowboys (6-3 overall, 1-2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) broke out to a 14-point halftime lead. The Mountain Lions (1-6, 1-1) rallied to play evenly with NMHU in the second half but never caught up; the closest second-half margin was seven points.
Highlands seemed to regain its offensive punch, shooting at a 52 percent clip.
Andrade went 9 for 17 from the floor and 10 of 10 at the free-throw line, and Chop Tang shot 10 for 15 in notching 25 points. Mindaugas Markevicius went 5 for 10 for 12 points.
Starting his first game, former Robertson forward Justin “Mayo” Montoya added eight points, as did Ledreece Smith.
Beginning with this week’s non-conference trip to play NAIA school Carroll College in Denver, NMHU will again have the services of forward Chris Dunn and shooting guard Rashad Peterson. Both men, who started for the Cowboys in last season’s record one-year turnaround under coach Joe Harge, had to sit out the first semester due to different issues.
“They will be a huge addition to our team,” Harge said via a news release. “With those two back and everybody healthy, we should be a very exciting team to watch.”