Pack halted by hot shooting of Lopers

Junior guard Ryan Arel (24) buries a three as time expires in the first half, which put the Pack up 43-41 going into halftime vs. Nebraska-Kearney Jan. 21.  It would lose 89-71 to the Lopers.

PUEBLO, Colo. ( - Jan. 22, 2012) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team got off to a fast start Saturday night against the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers.

The only problem was the Lopers got off to an even faster start.

Behind a 27-point effort from Chris Deans, with 24 coming in the first half, Nebraska-Kearney was able to defeat the Pack 89-71.

Both teams got off to tremendous starts as the Pack rode the hot shooting of Ryan Arel (Jr., Shawnee, Kan.) who hit his first five three-pointers while the Lopers rallied around Deans, who was a perfect 6-for-6 behind the arc.

It seemed as if the Pack was going to score a minor upset against one of the conference's top teams as things were clicking on every cylinder offensively early on.

Arel hit a 3-pointer with 41 seconds remaining in the half before a steal by Ty Trahern (Sr., Kit Carson, Colo.) led to a fastbreak 3-pointer again by Arel right before the buzzer. The sequence before the half had the arena jumping, and the Pack believing in a potential weekend sweep as they took a 43-41 lead into halftime.

Further evidence of the fast start by both teams was seen on the stat sheet when at the half both teams shot an identical 54 percent from the field.

The hot shooting from the Lopers continued in the second half as they outdid themselves by going 15-for-21 and shooting 71 percent from the field.

Three other Pack players finished with double digits including a career high 11 points from Jed Knafelc (So., Highlands Ranch, Colo.). Bryse Velasquez (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and and A.J. Kapanoske (Sr., Corona, Calif.) capped off the double-digit scoring for the Pack.

The ThunderWolves will now hit the road for three consecutive road games beginning Friday against New Mexico Highlands. Tip off scheduled for 8 p.m.