Pack prevail to post fourth straight victory

PUEBLO, Colo. (December 16, 2016) – The Colorado State University-Pueblo dominated the second half in an 85-75 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference victory against Colorado Mesa University at Massari Arena Friday. The win was the ThunderWolves' fourth straight victory.

The Pack (6-4, 4-1 RMAC) had their worst half of basketball this season in the first 20 minutes, but a Will Newman (Jr., G, Hawthorne, Calif.) buzzer-beater from three-fourths the length of the floor handed the home team a narrow 38-33 lead at the break.

The second half was significantly better on both ends of the floor. After allowing nine offensive rebounds to the Mavericks (2-9, 1-4 RMAC) in the first half, the Pack allowed just three in the second and recorded 11 of their own to help a 19-8 advantage in second chance points. The Pack also shot the ball better in the second frame and totaled four blocks and four steals in the final 20 minutes.

In the end, the ThunderWolves shot a season-low 44.4 percent, but allowed CMU to shoot 37.1 percent from the field, which is a season-low for a Pack opponent. CSU-Pueblo pulled down the most rebounds in a game this season and won the battle of the boards, 46-37. The Pack dished out 16 assists and finished with seven steals.

CSU-Pueblo started the second half on an 11-4 run during the first four minutes to push its lead to 12 at 49-37. CMU wouldn't crack the double-digit deficit, as the home team lead by as many as 20 before settling with the 10-point victory.

Newman recorded 17 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists. For the third time this season, he knocked down a season-high three 3-pointers.  Junior guard Mark Williams (Chino Hills, Calif.) came off the bench and provided a spark in the second half, as he totaled 10 of his 17 points in the final 20 minutes. He also ripped down four offensive rebounds and totaled eight. He went 6-for-9 (66.7%) from the field in 19 minutes of play.

Senior Rico Spikes (G, Merriville, Ind.) had his second straight big night, as he added 15 points on 7-of-10 (70%) shooting and totaled eight rebounds with three assists and two steals. Senior center Nelson Kahler (Noosa Heads, Australia) was the defensive lift the Pack needed in the second half. He finished with five blocks (four in the second frame) for the second straight contest and added eight rebounds (six defensive). He also dished out a team-high and career-best five assists.

Sophomore guard Gavin Liggett (Limon, Colo.) added three 3-pointers and totaled 11 points. He leads the team with 30 3-pointers.

The ThunderWolves will look to make it five straight before the holiday break when Western State Colorado University visits Saturday in a 7:30 p.m. tipoff. A new, unwrapped toy donation grants free admission to the game.

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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.