Fri Apr 3rd, 2015
Special to the Drum
Tags: Aaron Harrison, Alex Herrera, Christian Brothers University, First Team All-RMAC, Mitch McCarron of Metro State University of Denver, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-South Central District, Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s Defensive Player-of-the-Year, Second Team Daktronics/NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association All-America, University of Evansville, West Stars
There’s going out with a bang, and there’s going out with an Alex Herrera eruption.
Already named Second Team Daktronics/NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association All-America, as well as National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-South Central District, the former Ignacio High School Bobcat and current Fort Lewis College senior center was chosen for the NABC/Reese’s D-II All-Star Game on Friday, March 27.
And not only did he play, he dominated.
As the West Team’s starter in the middle, Herrera played 24 minutes, shot 5-of-10 from the floor and knocked down his only two free throws to help the West Stars defeat the East, 140 to 112 – the combined point total amazingly exceeding the announced count of patrons (244).
He officially tallied 12 points and seven rebounds, while even swatting away two East shots inside the University of Evansville (Ind.) Purple Aces’ Ford Center, with the exciting clash held on the day between the D-II Tournament’s semifinals and grand finale – in which Florida Southern College (36-1 overall) defeated Indiana University of Pennsylvania (31-7) for all the season’s marbles, 77-62.
The only non-guard in the one-off squad’s first five (coached by Regis University’s Lonnie Porter), he was joined for the opening tip by Mitch McCarron of Metro State University of Denver, Aaron Harrison of Lynn (Boca Raton, Fla.) University, Dedric Ware of Rome, Georgia-based Shorter University and Trey Casey of Memphis, Tennessee’s Christian Brothers University.
Overcoming a slim 63-59 halftime deficit, the West thoroughly dominated the second half, 81 to 49, as Herrera and friends finished the battle 53-of-89 (59.6 percent) from the field and a perfect 8-8 at the charity stripe.
With Herrera and six teammates all scoring in double figures, the West’s 140 points eclipsed the previous high of 138 set in 2009. Nailing seven of his nine three-point attempts (setting new standards for makes and percentage), Harrison finished with a game-best 25 points and tied the record set in ’06 by Western Washington University’s Ryan Diggs. All told, the West sank a record-tying 26 triples – one of ten ASG milestones either reached or surpassed in the contest – in 46 tries, for avideo game-like 56.5% efficiency from beyond the arc.
Collectively 14-of-33 (42.4%) from downtown themselves, eight East squad members achieved double-digit point totals, led by the 20 of Egypt-born Minnesota State University-Mankato center/forward Assam Marei.
Three times the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s Defensive Player-of-the-Year and thrice a First Team All-RMAC selection, Herrera finished his final season averaging a 23.7-point, 11.6-rebound double-double while starting all 29 of FLC’s games – in which the Skyhawks won 20 – for longtime boss Bob Hofman.
He blocked 94 shots (3.2 per game), snared 335 caroms, and shot 56.1% from the floor (230-of-410) and 67.3% (224-333) from the foul line in racking up 687 points.