By Brad Blume, Sports Information Director
AZUSA, Calif. --- Down by as much as 13 points in the in the middle of the second half, the South Dakota School of Mines men's basketball team rallied back to defeat the Azusa Pacific Cougars, 61-59, Wednesday night in Azusa, Calif.
With just under a minute to go junior Calvin Thomas dished off the ball to junior Denis Dobkowski-Rilco on the perimeter who drained a three-point goal and gave the Hardrockers a two-point edge and the eventual win. SD Mines survived two missed free throws down the stretch to give the visitors its ninth win of the season.
SD Mines shot 49 percent from the field making good on 24-49 shots while the Cougars were 21-49 for 42 percent. The 'Rockers trailed by four at the half, 26-22, and after a scoring charge by Azusa to open the second period, SD Mines' defense was able to hold off the Cougars and outscore the home team, 39-33, over the final 20 minutes.
Individually, the Hardrockers were paced by junior Caleb Shockman's 14 points and six rebounds while freshman Konor Kulas tacked on 10 points and five rebounds and senior James Dean and junior Calvin Thomas had eight markers apiece.
The Hardrockers are now 9-5 on the season and continue their California road trip Thursday night in Santa Barbara in a bout against Westmont College. Tip-off is slated for 8:30 p.m. (MST) and then finishes up against Arizona Christian Saturday afternoon in Phoenix (1 p.m.).