The Anoka-Ramsey Community College Men's Basketball team shot 57.4 percent for the game to defeat St. Cloud Technical and Community College 81-79 on Saturday afternoon in St. Cloud.
The win puts the Golden Rams at 2-0 in MCAC Southern Division play.
Along with the high shooting percentage, Anoka-Ramsey was able to hold SCTCC to just 40.5 percent shooting from the field, however the Cyclones attempted 20 more field goals thanks in part to 17 offensive rebounds; 13 of which came in the first half.
It was an evenly matched game throughout with neither team leading by more than six during the first half.
The Golden Rams took a five point lead at 20-15 after a three-point field goal by Chris Byrgiotis with 13:29 to play in the first half.
The Cyclones responded and took a 23-22 lead with just under ten minutes to play, and again at 25-24 with 9:32 left.
But two field goals by Robert Ben sandwiched around a layup by Jerry Butler put Anoka-Ramsey back up five, 30-25.
The Golden Ram lead extended to six, 33-27 following a three-point play by Trenton Pollard at the 6:35 mark.
Anoka-Ramsey would maintain the lead until 1:46 to play when a Cyclone layup tied the score at 43 apiece, and the teams would enter the break knotted up at 47-47.
The Golden Rams connected on 20 of 29 field goals for 69 percent in the opening period.
The second half would play out much like the first.
A three-pointer by Tyler Matsen gave Anoka-Ramsey a 63-57 lead with 13:05 to play, and the lead would reach seven 66-59 with 11:45 left.
The Golden Rams would still lead by six with 7:41 to play before the Cyclones would make their run.
Over the next three and a half minutes, the Cyclones would put together a 7-1 run to tie the score at 71 with 3:18 to play.
Kashif Hayes connected on a three-pointer to put the Golden Rams back on top.
A layup by SCTCC, two free throws from Pollard, followed by two Cyclone free throws would cut the Golden Ram lead to one with 1:50 left.
With 49 seconds to play, and a one-point lead, the Golden Rams would commit a turnover that led to a foul in transition putting the Cyclones at the line for two shots, which they would convert to give them a one point lead.
Pollard was fouled on the ensuing possessions and would connect on both of his free throws to regain the lead for the Golden Rams with 30 seconds left.
Anoka-Ramsey would come up with their biggest defensive stop of the game on a rebound by Chris Byrgiotis with seven seconds left. He would be fouled and knock down both foul shots for a three point lead.
The Golden Rams would foul with just under three seconds to play, putting the Cyclones at the line for a one-and-one down by three.
After making both free throws, SCTCC would foul on the ensuring inbounds but the Golden Rams missed both foul shots.
SCTCC called timeout after the second missed free throw and had to go the length of the court with 1.7 seconds left. But the inbounds pass up the sideline sailed out of bounds giving possession back to the Golden Rams.
Pollard was fouled on the inbound and made the first but missed the second free throw. SCTCC was out of timeouts and could only put up a full-court heave that was off the mark.
The Golden Rams had all five starters reach double figures in scoring with Pollard leading the way with 19 points, making 9 of 12 free throws.
Justin Casey scored 15 points on 7 of 9 shooting to go with nine rebounds.
Robert Ben scored 13 points on 6 of 8 shooting.
Brandon Hixson and Byrgiotis scored 11 apiece with Hixson also hauling in nine rebounds.
Anoka-Ramsey hosts their first MCAC Southern Division game of the season on Wednesday, January 14 at 8pm vs. Minnesota West.
The Anoka-Ramsey Community College Men's Basketball team picked up their first MCAC Southern Division win of the season, 72-68 over M|State Fergus Falls on Wednesday.
The Golden Rams jumped out to a 9-0 lead just three and a half minutes into the game, but the Spartans would use a 9-2 cut the deficit to 11-9 with 13 minutes left in the half.
Anoka-Ramsey extended the lead to 21-11 after a field goal from Cameron Cummings, and were poised to pull away.
Still leading 30-23 with 4:17 to play, the Golden Rams went cold shooting and allowed a 7-0 run to end the half tied at 30 apiece.
Anoka-Ramsey shot 53.8 percent in the half compared to just 32.5 percent for M|State, but the Golden Rams committed nine turnovers and allowed 13 offensive rebounds, which gave the Spartans 14 more field goal attempts.
Over the first 10 minutes of the second half the lead would change hands five times and the score would be tied on six occasions.
The Spartans took their biggest lead at 47-43 with 10:25 to play, but a three from Trenton Pollard, and field goal from Justin Casey would put the Golden Rams back up 48-47.
From there the lead would change hands an additional five times and the score would knot up at 58 with 3:29 to play following a Spartan field goal.
Pollard completed a three-point play with 3:20 left, followed by a jumper from M|State to cut the deficit to one.
Chris Byrgiotis connected on a three-point field goal on the next Golden Ram possession to take a four point lead with 2:49 left.
The teams traded baskets on their next possessions before the Spartans had a 4-0 spurt to tie the game once again 66-66 with 1:20 to play.
Another field goal by Pollard would allow the Golden Rams to regain the lead.
Tyler Matsen came up with a steal on the next Spartan possession and passed it ahead to Pollard who had his shot knocked out of bounds with 21 seconds to play.
On the ensuing inbounds, Byrgiotis found Matsen who was fouled and connected on both free throws to extend the lead back to four.
The Spartans answered with a two-point field goal with nine seconds to play and fouled Pollard who made one of two free throws with eight seconds remaining.
Up three, Anoka-Ramsey would foul with three seconds left putting the Spartans at the line for a one-and-one bonus situation.
M|State intentionally missed the first free throw to try and get the rebound and have a shot at a three for the tie, but Robert Ben secured the miss and made one of two free throws for the final margin.
Anoka-Ramsey shot 50 percent for the game (28-56) and held the Spartans to 43.3 percent including just 4 of 17 from the three-point line.
The Golden Rams made 12 free throws compared to just six for M|State.
Pollard led the way with 24 points, 19 coming after halftime, on 10 of 17 shooting.
Casey finished with 15 points on 7 of 8 from the field and six rebounds.
Cummings finished with ten points.
Ben pulled in a game-high ten rebounds.
The Golden Rams continue MCAC Southern Division play on the road at St. Cloud Technical and Community College on Saturday at 3:00pm.
The Anoka-Ramsey Community College Men's Basketball team dropped both games of the ARCC Holiday Classic this past weekend, first falling to Dakota County Technical College 80-74, then dropping a rematch with North Dakota State College of Science 84-70.
vs. Dakota County Tech (DCTC) (L 80-74)
In a rematch of the Blue Knights win earlier in the season, the Golden Rams played exceptional defense in taking a 7-1 lead six minutes into the game.
DCTC would go on a 11-1 run over the next three minutes to take a 12-8 lead.
The Blue Knight advantage would grow to six 16-10 with 9:22 to play before the Golden Rams would get their offense rolling.
The score was knotted at 26 with four minutes left in the half when Anoka-Ramsey scored the next seven points to take a 33-26 lead with 2:23 to play. The teams exchanged free throws and Anoka-Ramsey led 34-27 with 1:53 left.
But DCTC would close the half with ten straight points to take a 37-34 lead into the break.
Anoka-Ramsey outscored the Blue Knights 7-2 in the first two minutes of the second half to retake the lead at 41-39.
DCTC retook the lead 43-41 and extended it to 46-41 with 17:08 to play.
The Blue Knights maintained the lead over the next nine minutes, with their biggest lead coming at 58-51 with 10:42 to play.
But the Golden Rams would continue to fight back with a 9-0 run to retake the lead 60-58 with 8:43 to play.
The lead would change hands three times over the next five minutes with the score tied at 69 with 3:12 left.
But the offense stalled for the Golden Rams as the Blue Knights scored the next five points and held on for the win.
Anoka-Ramsey came into the game shooting 35 percent from the three-point line as a team, but managed just 20 percent (3 of 15) from beyond the arc vs. the Blue Knights.
Trenton Pollard led the scoring with 18 points.
Brandon Hixson scored 16 points to go with seven rebounds.
Robert Ben scored 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting.
Justin Casey chipped in 12 points, and Kashif Hayes scored ten off the bench.
vs. North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) (L 84-70)
The Golden Rams were looking to avenge an earlier loss to the Wildcats, but despite a valiant effort, they came up short in their final tune-up to MCAC play.
The first half proved to be a defensive battle for much of the period as neither team was able to get much offense rolling.
NDSCS held a 14-8 lead seven minutes into the game.
The Golden Rams would chip away and tie the score at 17 with ten minutes left in the half.
After a made field goal by the Wildcats, Chris Byrgiotis would connect on a three-point shot to give the Golden Rams a 20-19 lead with 8:55 to play.
The Wildcats responded with a three of their own to retake the lead 22-20 with 7:42 left and score would stay that way over a two minute stretch.
The Golden Rams responded with a 8-0 run, scored entirely by Trenton Pollard, to take a 28-22 lead with 3:56 to play.
But the wheels fell off over the last 3:56 as the Wildcats would hold Anoka-Ramsey to just 1 of 6 shooting while connecting on 6 of 8 shots themselves (including four threes) during an 18-2 run ending the half up 40-30.
The Wildcats extended the lead to open the second half taking a 57-38 advantage with 14:36 to play and the deficit would not get below twelve the rest of the night.
Pollard led all scorers with 28 points on 8 of 14 shooting including 5 of 7 from the three-point line. He also connected on 7 of 8 free throws.
Tyler Matsen scored 14 points off the bench.
The Golden Rams only committed seven turnovers for the game but were out-rebounded 38-28.
The Wildcats shot 14 of 33 from the three-point line.
Anoka-Ramsey drops to 6-7 on the season and will begin MCAC Southern Division play on Wednesday at MSCTC-Fergus Falls.