WORTHINGTON — The rock solid Rochester Yellowjackets beat the Minnesota West Bluejays 91-75 in men’s basketball on Wednesday night.
RCTC led 51-38 at the half.
The Yellowjackets started the game hotly with a 10-2 goal run. After a time-out, Minnesota West went shot for shot with the Yellowjackets and trailed 17-13 for five minutes into the first half.
After an RCTC timeout, the Bluejays’ offense began to cool off while the Yellowjackets remained constant. The Bluejays shot 12 of 36 off the ground in the first half.
Minnesota West showed great composure shooting fouls in the first half as the Bluejays connected on 13 of 15 free throw attempts. RCTC limited the Bluejays’ trips to the foul line to three in the second half.
“We need to take shots and slow the game down to better play at our pace. That makes all the difference,” said Bluejays coach Brian Stoebner. “If we look good, I can live with misses. If we don’t look good and take bad shots, it’s like a sale.”
The leading scorer for the Bluejays was Bie Ruei, who scored 26 points. Ruei is a 6’5 freshman from Sioux City, IA. and plays with its far-reaching wingspan. Ruei had eight rebounds, two steals and a block.
“It’s damn long and it can really frustrate guys. He kind of lures guys into doing the jump shot because he thinks they’re more open than they are and gets blocked,” Stoebner said. “Our boys know they have to move the ball and play together. If we don’t do that, we’re not a great team. If we move the basketball back and forth and split it, we look better and the guys get easy points. When we start moving the ball we get easier looks and that leads to more confidence when shooting.”
Sam Daho scored 14 points for Minnesota West after coming on from the bench. Daho had four dodgy steals and showed great chemistry with Ruei in the transition game. Eli Williams had 12 points and Kong Neyail had nine points.
The Rochester Community and Technical College top scorer was Kameron Givens, who scored 27 points. The Yellowjackets had 18 offensive rebounds and hit on multiple second chances. Peyton Dunham had 15 points for RCTC and Quest McCrimon had 10 points.
“Defensively we have to get even better, it’s difficult to win games with 90 points,” said Stöbner. “That will be the difference.”
The Minnesota West Bluejays travel to St. Cloud Technical and Community College on Saturday.