Monday, December 15, 2014

Hayes Named Southern Division Player of the Week

Anoka-Ramsey Community College guard Kashif Hayes was named the MCAC Southern Division Player of the Week for his efforts in two Golden Ram wins this past weekend.

Hayes scored 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting including 3-of-6 from the three-point line in a defeat of Vermilion Community College.  Hayes also connected on 5-of-7 free throws.

In a win over Mesabi Range College, Hayes tallied a game-high 24 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 5-of-8 from behind the arc.  Hayes once again was 5-of-7 on free throws.

Combined for the two games Hayes averaged 20 points on 11-of-18 shooting and 8-of-14 from the three-point line.

Hayes is a freshman from St. Louis Park.

Anoka-Ramsey is 5-4 on the season and will face Bismarck State College on Friday, December 19 at 8:00pm.

#10 Kashif Hayes

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Game Recap: Golden Rams Complete Sweep; Defeat Mesabi

The Anoka-Ramsey Community College Men's Basketball team won their fourth straight game, completing a sweep of MCAC Northern Division opponents with a 70-69 win over Mesabi Range.

All four wins during the streak have come against teams from the MCAC Northern Division.

Mesabi took the first lead of the game with a three-point shot on their opening possession.

The Norsemen would connect on 7-of-14 shots from beyond the arc in the first half.

Anoka-Ramsey countered and took their first lead at 7-6 four minutes into the period.

Mesabi would retake the lead 10-9 with 14:17 to play and would maintain the lead for much of the half, eventually going ahead 19-13 following another three-point field goal.

The Golden Rams trimmed the deficit to one point on a post move from Joel McFall (freshman, Geelong, Australia).  Mesabi scored to push the lead back to three, followed by a layup by Tyler Matsen (freshman, Racine, Wisconsin) to cut it back to one.

A made free throw from Kashif Hayes (freshman, St. Louis Park) would knot the game at 24 with 6:14 to play.

A 4-0 spurt by Mesabi pushed the lead to 28-24 before a Hayes three and a layup by Robert Ben (sophomore, Spring Lake Park) would allow the Golden Rams to take a 29-28 lead.

Mesabi would regain the lead and push it to four points before a buzzer-beating three from the corner by Hayes would settle the half at 39-38 in favor of the Norsemen.

Neither team was able to take control to start the second half until a layup by Brandon Hixson (freshman, Champlin Park) and another three from Hayes gave the Golden Rams a 54-49 lead.

The Golden Rams took their biggest lead of the game, 58-51 following a made free throw by Hixson with 9:20 to play, but back-to-back threes by Mesabi once again cut the deficit to one point at 58-57.

Empty possessions by both teams kept the score at 58-57 until Matsen knocked down his second three-point field goal of the game to push the lead back to four.

Two made free throws by Trenton Pollard (sophomore, Prairie Seeds Academy) with 6:22 to play gave the Golden Rams a six point lead 63-57.

But another 5-0 run by Mesabi cut it back to one 63-62.

Hixson made two free throws, and Hayes made one to re-establish a four point lead 66-62 with 2:46 left.

After trading baskets, Mesabi connected on another three-point field goal to again get within one, 68-67 with 1;18 to play.

Pollard made two free throws with 1:10 left to push the lead to 70-67, followed by a Mesabi layup to get within 70-69 with 49 seconds remaining.

With the shot clock winding down, Anoka-Ramsey committed a turnover with 16 seconds remaining to give Mesabi one last chance.

The Golden Rams had fouls to give and committed two in the front court, but 13 seconds had run off, giving Mesabi only three seconds to get a good look off a sideline inbounds play.

A contested three-point attempt fell wide as the Golden Rams held on for the win.

Anoka-Ramsey committed 25 turnovers, but their second half defense held Mesabi to just 33 percent shooting, including 16.7 percent from the three-point line in the half (3-18).

The Golden Rams shot 55.6 percent overall, 60 percent in the second half.

Hayes led the scoring with a career-high 24 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 5-of-8 from the three-point line.

Matsen scored a career-high 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

Ben pulled in a career-high 13 rebounds to go with eight points, while Hixson also recorded a career-high with ten rebounds.

Anoka-Ramsey improves to 5-4 on the season.

Next up is four straight home games before MCAC Southern Division play begins.

The Golden Rams host Bismarck State College on Friday, December 19 at 8pm, then have a rematch with Vermilion Community College on Saturday, December 20 at 5pm.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Game Recap: Golden Rams Earn Hard-Fought Road Win

The Anoka-Ramsey Community College Men's Basketball team earned a hard-fought 86-79 road victory at Vermilion Community College on Friday evening.

This was the first true road win of the season for the Golden Rams as they evened their overall record to 4-4 on the season.

A back-and-forth first half saw both teams exchange the lead eight times as neither team was able to gain control early on.

Anoka-Ramsey lead 11-6 five minutes into the game before the Ironmen went on a 7-0 run to take a 13-11 lead.
After trading baskets, Vermilion would open a five point lead at 21-16.

The Golden Rams used a 8-2 run to regain the lead and extended it to six points, 34-28 with 4:51 left in the half.

The Ironmen would once again use a 7-0 run to take a 35-34 lead with three minutes to play, but Anoka-Ramsey would finish the half strong and take a 40-37 lead into the break.

After an opening basket from Vermilion, the Golden Rams would extend their lead to seven points at 51-44 just three and half minutes into the second half.

From that point forward the Golden Ram lead would never drop below six points.

A three-pointer by Trenton Pollard (sophomore, Prairie Seeds Academy) off an assist from Justin Casey (sophomore, Park Center) would extend the lead to 11, 62-51 with 12:47 to play.

Vermilion would keep hanging around, trimming the deficit back to six on four occasions over the next seven minutes before a decisive 10-4 run pushed the lead to 12 with two minutes to play.

Anoka-Ramsey was led by Pollard with 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting including 4-of-6 from the three-point line.

Kashif Hayes (freshman, St. Louis Park) scored 16 points on 4-of-7 from the field and 3-of-6 from the three-point line.

Brandon Hixson (freshman, Champlin Park) scored 14 points and pulled in a game-high eight rebounds.

Casey and Chris Byrgiotis (sophomore, Melbourne, Australia) chipped in seven points, and Jerry Butler (sophomore, Hill-Murray) knocked down two three-point field goals for six points.

The Golden Rams shot 51.8 percent for the game including 58.3 percent in the second half, and 9-of-21 overall from the three-point line.

Free throws were the difference as Anoka-Ramsey made 19 compared to just nine for Vermilion.

The Golden Rams will face Mesabi Range on Saturday at 3pm in Virginia, MN. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Game Recaps: Defense Propels Golden Rams to Weekend Victories

Using a renewed commitment to the defensive end of the floor, the Anoka-Ramsey Community College Men's Basketball team swept a pair of games from MCAC Northern Division opponents on Friday and Saturday.

Friday vs. Central Lakes (W - 68-62)

Despite a poor night shooting the basketball, the Golden Rams were able to pull out the victory over the Raiders by relying on steady defense and rebounding.

Central Lakes opened the game on an 8-0 run behind a pair of three-point baskets only a minute into the game.  The lead extended to 13-2 before the Golden Rams began to slowly chip away.

Neither team was able to get much offense going as both defenses continued to force turnovers and contested shots.

With 10 minutes gone in the period the score was only 19-10 in favor of Central Lakes.

However, Anoka-Ramsey began to put together a run of their own with back-to-back three-point field goals from Jerry Butler (sophomore, Hill-Murray) and Kashif Hayes (freshman, St. Louis Park) as the Golden Rams outscored Central Lakes 18-10 over the final ten minutes of the half to pull within 29-28 at the break.

Anoka-Ramsey managed just 27.8 percent shooting in the opening period, but held Central Lakes to 32.4 percent.  The key difference in the half was made free throws as Anoka-Ramsey was 6 of 10 compared to just 1 of 4 for the Raiders.

Central Lakes used a 7-1 run in the opening three minutes to take a 36-29 lead.

A three-pointer from Hayes and one of two free throws from Trenton Pollard (sophomore, Prairie Seeds Academy) pulled the Golden Rams within 36-33. 

After a basket from the Raiders pushed the lead to five, the Golden Rams used a pair of three-point shots from Hayes and Pollard, along with a basket from Justin Casey (sophomore, Park Center) to go on a 8-0 run and take a 41-38 lead.

The Raiders used a timeout to regroup and proceeded to go on a 10-0 run to retake the lead 48-41 with 10:15 left to play.

Anoka-Ramsey still trailed by seven (52-45) with 8:44 left in the game before holding Central Lakes scoreless over a five minute stretch to take a 57-52 lead with 3:50 left to play.

The Golden Rams would not relinquish the lead over the last 3:50 of the game and hold on for the 68-62 win.

Anoka-Ramsey finished the game just 22 of 69 from the field (31.9 percent) including 8 of 26 from the three-point line (30.8 percent).  Central Lakes managed just 32.4 percent shooting including 7 of 28 from the three-point line.

Anoka-Ramsey held a 16-7 advantage in made free throws which proved to be the difference in the game.

Pollard finished with 20 points, nine rebounds, and three assists for the Golden Rams.

Casey recorded his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Hayes came off the bench to score 10 points, while Chris Byrgiotis (sophomore, Melbourne, Australia) chipped in with nine points.

Anthony Brama (sophomore, St. Anthony Village) scored six points and pulled in eight rebounds as the Golden Rams controlled the glass 53-46.

Saturday vs. Fond du Lac (W - 78-55)

The Golden Rams opened the Saturday afternoon game scoring the first five points, and would never trail throughout the contest.

That doesn't mean it came easy against the Thunder.

While the Golden Rams were able to extend the lead in the opening period, Fond du Lac continued to have an answer to keep the game close.

Ten minutes into the game Anoka-Ramsey pulled ahead 22-13 after two made free throws from Cam Cummings (sophomore, St. Croix Lutheran). 

The lead extended to 13 points 28-15 with 5:08 to play in the period before things started going the Thunder's way.

A quick seven points cut the lead to six with 3:32 to play, but the Golden Rams answered and pushed to lead back to 11 (33-22) with 2 minutes remaining.

Some costly errors to end the half allowed Fond du Lac to score the final seven points and Anoka-Ramsey entered the break with a 33-29 lead.

Hayes scored the first basket of the second half, but Fond du Lac responded with the next two field goals to pull within two points at 35-33.

A Tyler Matsen field goal (freshman, Washington Park, Wisconsin), a putback by Casey, followed by a three-point field goal by Fond du Lac made it a three point game.

After a timeout by Fond du Lac, the Golden Rams came out with a renewed defensive energy and proceeded to put together a 9-0 run over the next four minutes to take their biggest lead at 50-36.

The teams traded baskets over the next few minutes before Anoka-Ramsey extended the lead to 18 points (63-45) with 6:50 remaining and the Thunder would not threaten again.

Anoka-Ramsey shot 55.2 percent in the second half to finish 29 of 63 from the field (46 percent).

Fond du Lac was held to just 21 off 66 shooting (31.8 percent) including just 6 of 26 from the three-point line (23.1 percent).

The Golden Rams committed a season-low seven turnovers.

Five players scored in double-figures for Anoka-Ramsey with Casey leading the way at 13 points. 

Byrgiotis and Pollard each scored 12 points. 

Joel McFall (freshman, Geelong, Australia) scored a career-high 11 points, and Brama chipped in with 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

The Golden Rams improve to 3-4 on the season.

Next up is a road trip against MCAC Northern Division foes Vermilion Community College (Friday, December 12 at 8:00pm) and Mesabi Range College (Saturday, December 13 at 3:00pm).