GOLDEN - The Colorado School of Mines men's basketball team is off to the Great 8 and they don't plan on stopping there.
On Tuesday night, the Orediggers hosted West Texas A&M in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division II Basketball Championships and from tip-off the game was theirs.
Mines got to an early jump on the Buffaloes with a giant three point shot from Gokul Natesan. The senior guard recorded his 2,000th point in his four-year career with the Orediggers after having a play-making night with 12 assists.
After the first half Mines lead West Texas A&M 34-23 and they didn't slow down in the second.
Mines' junior guard, Luke Schroepfer, came out in the second half on fire. Whatever he shot went in and eventually was 8-8 on field goals in the second half.
"You get in the zone sometimes," Schroepfer said. "You just know that if you get space, are in a rhythm, it's going to go in no matter what, and there's not much the other team can do about it."
Despite an unstoppable offense, the Buffaloes' leading scorers, David Chavlovich, Eric Golightly Jr., and Jordan Evans were all shutdown by the Orediggers defense. The three average 20 points or higher a game, but not tonight.
Head Coach Pyror Orser runs his defense through the post, an old school tactic according to Orser, but his guards were capable of defending and keeping their guards outside.
Mines held a major lead for most of the second half, leading by 25 points. The team would hold onto the lead even after sending in the back-ups for an entire team effort.
The Orediggers defend their barn and advance to the Great 8 in South Dakota after an 88-63 point victory.
Motivated for the opportunity, Mines advances to the next round with a heap of momentum.
"Hey somebody's got to win them and it might as well be us," said Orser. "We're going to go play our tails off, we're going to play our a**es off. I mean that's what we do and we're going to go do it."
© 2017 KUSA-TV