RAPID CITY, S.D. (January 6, 2017) – Colorado State University-Pueblo Men's Basketball overcame a 20-point deficit to force overtime, but could not overcome South Dakota School of Mines. The Hardrockers survived the Pack's second half flurry to pull out an 84-81 win in overtime.
The loss halts the Pack's win streak at seven games. They sit a half game back of the lead in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with a 6-2 record in conference games. The ThunderWolves stand 8-5 overall. South Dakota Mines improved to 9-6 (5-4 RMAC).
Rico Spikes (Sr., Merriville, Ind.) earned his second double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds. He made 7-of-15 from the field and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. Spikes also dealt out three assists. He scored the Pack's only six points of the extra period.
Mark Williams (Jr., Chino Hills, Calif.) scored 12 points, all of which came in the second half. Williams went 4-of-6 from the field. He pulled down four boards.
Senior Nelson Kahler (Noosa Heads, Australia) led the Pack with 19 points. He pulled down 10 rebounds to earn his first double-double of the season. Defensively, Kahler swatted another five shots. The center finished 7-of-8 from the free throw line and added three assists.
Will Newman (Jr., Hawthorne, Calif.) netted 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field. The guard grabbed six rebounds. Newman kicked out five assists, but foul trouble ended his night early.
Stevan Radakovic (Sr., Belgrade, Serbia) collected 10 points. He scored on all three of his attempts from the field and drained 3-of-4 from the line.
The Pack rushed out to a 12-4 lead. However, a scoring drought of nearly five minutes allowed the Hardrockers to take the lead. Holding a one-point lead 32-31, South Dakota Mines embarked on an 11-1 run that gave them a 43-33 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Hardrockers pushed their lead to 20, thanks to a 13-3 run over the first 4:19 of the frame. Down by 20 the Pack responded with a 10-2 run that brought them back within 12. After a Hardrocker basket, engineered a 13-3 blitz of their own that brought them back within two, 63-61.
Minutes later the Pack would take the first lead since it was 24-23, when a Kahler free throw gave the Pack a 68-67 edge with 4:04 left. The Hardrockers had led for over 20 minutes until the Kahler free throw. The Hardockers and Pack continued to match each other down the stretch, leading to a 74-74 tie with 17 seconds left.
Holding the ball for last shot, the Hardrockers tried to hit the game winner, but Kahler came up with a monumental rejection to force overtime.
In the extra frame, the Pack kept pace with the Hardrockers early, forcing a 78-78 tie with 3:40 left in bonus basketball. However, the ThunderWolves went 3:30 without a point, before Spikes ended the drought. His traditional 3-point play cut the Hardrockers lead to 84-81. The Pack would have a chance to tie and force a second overtime, but the three-pointer fell short and the Hardrockers escaped with an 84-81 win.
The ThunderWolves will try to start another winning streak when they meet Black Hills State University Saturday for the second time in eight days. The opening tip is slated for 6 p.m.
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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