Halftime lead fades as Pack falls in overtime

Western State 63, CSU-Pueblo 59 (OT)

GUNNISON, Colo. - The ThunderWolves led by as much as eight early in the second half of their game with Western State Saturday, but a good second half by the Mountaineers allowed them to outlast the Pack to claim the 63-59 overtime win.

The Mountaineers got the upper hand with a 15-5 run near the close of the second half, giving them the 44-41 lead with 3:38 remaining. Both teams responded with a neck-and-neck tussle down the stretch, sending the game to OT tied at 51.

In the extra frame, Western State held the momentum and turned into a late surge, leading 60-56 with just 30 seconds remaining. A clutch three by Julien Franklin brought the Pack to within one, but key foul shots iced it for the Mountaineers.

The Pack's second half struggles were partly due to inconsistency from the line, shooting just 53 percent from the charity stripe.

"You can't shoot like that from the road," Pack coach Patrick Eberhart said. "If we want to be a better team than we are right now, we just can't play like that on the road. Western State sayed poised throughout the game and we didn't. We just didn't play team basketball.

The loss leaves the Pack reeling, their third in four games, and currently out of the money for the final playoff spot in the RMAC. The Pack's 6-9 conference mark and 9-13 record overall leaves the team on the outside looking in for the final playoff spot in the conference.