PUEBLO, Colo. (December 29, 2017) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team (5-7, 2-4 RMAC), returns from their holiday break Saturday Dec. 30 when they tangle with Black Hills State University (6-3, 3-3 RMAC) in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference test at 6 p.m.
Newman reaches 1,000 Career Points
Senior Will Newman (Hawthorne, Calif.) became the 22nd student-athlete in program history to score 1,000 career points at CSU-Pueblo when he dropped 14 points against Western State Colorado University. Newman enters the weekend 33 points away from the top 20 in scoring all-time at CSU-Pueblo with 1,011 career points.
1,000 Career Points Watch
Senior Josh Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo.) has collected 879 career points, just 121 shy of the milestone. Smith will need to average 7.6 points per game in the remaining guaranteed 16 games to achieve this record.
Anderson making an impact
In his first weekend of competition at CSU-Pueblo, Jason Anderson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) earned RMAC Offensive Player of the Week honors. The transfer averaged 26.0 points per game and 8.0 rebounds to lead the Pack to wins over Western State and Colorado Mesa University. Anderson sank 76.7 percent from the field (23-for-30), was 2-of-3 (66.7%) from long range and hit on 4-of-6 (66.7%) from the free throw line. Anderson scored 52 total points and brought down 16 rebounds in just 50 minutes (25 mpg) of work.
Last Time Out
The Pack shot a season-high 60.3 percent from the field and hit on 42.1 percent from long range to defeat the Mountaineers 92-79. The ThunderWolves won the rebounding battle 32-28.
Newman scored all his 14 points in the second half and knocked down a team-high three 3-pointers. He dished out 10 assists to tie a career high and reach double-digit dimes for the second time in his career. He also pulled down eight rebounds for his fourth eight-plus rebound game of the season.
Anderson dropped 36 points and added six rebounds. He shot 15-for-20 (75%) from the field and hit on 2-of-3 (66.6%) from long range. Anderson did all this in just 22 minutes. Fellow center Mika Nuolivirta (Sr., Vantaa, Uusimaa, Finland) added 20 points in 17 minutes, as he shot 9-for-10 (90%) from the field.
After the first half was played to an even 40-40 tie, the turning point in the game was an 18-0 Pack second half run. With the ThunderWolves leading 64-61 and 11:49 remaining, the road team rattled off the incredible run over 4:19 of game clock to lead 82-61. During the stretch four members of the Pack scored with Anderson totaling seven points and Newman adding six. The team went 4-for-8 (50%) from the field in the game-changing run.
Western cut the deficit to 11 at 87-76 with 1:57 remaining, but clutch free throw shooting down the stretch, 5-of-6 (83.3%), clinched the road win.
The Yellow Jackets
Black Hills State brings a 6-4 record overall and 3-3 mark in RMAC games into Saturday's meeting with the Pack. After opening RMAC play with a win over University of Colorado Colorado Springs, the Yellow Jackets dropped three straight games. They bounced back with home wins over Regis University (75-74) and Chadron State College (76-63) in their most recent games. Black Hills is home to the RMAC's top scoring defense, holding opponents to 67.4 percent from the field. Fraser Malcolm leads the Yellow Jackets with 13.8 points per game. Malcolm ranks fifth in the RMAC with 7.8 rebounds per game.
Last Season vs the Yellow Jackets
The ThunderWolves swept the Yellow Jackets last season. The Pack bested Black Hills State in a 65-64 thriller at Massari Arena Dec. 30, 2016. Rico Spikes scored 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting in the win. Eight days later, the ThunderWolves dominated the Yellow Jackets 80-60 in Spearfish, S.D. Newman led the way with 19 points in the second meeting. Mark Williams (Sr., Chino Hills, Calif.) earned a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The ThunderWolves rank 1st in the RMAC and 26th nationally in 3-pointers per game with 10.7 per contest. The 128 daggers from downtown rank 1st in the conference and 19th in Division II. CSU-Pueblo has attempted 331 3-pointers this season, which is the 2nd most in the league and 20th in Division II.
Senior Josh Smith is seventh in the RMAC in 3-pointers made with 28. His 2.5 3-pointers per game also places him seventh. Smith ranks sixth among qualified shooters in the conference with a 37.8 percentage from long range.
Thanks for the Charity
Senior Will Newman has made (71) and attempted (83) free throws this season to rank second and third, respectfully, in the RMAC this season. He ranks 13th nationally in free throws made and 21st in free throws attempted. His 86.1 percentage from the line is eighth in the conference.
The Pack are shooting 74.1 percent from the line this season to rank sixth in the RMAC.
Leading the Way
• Senior Will Newman is 7th in the league in scoring with 17.2 points per game. He sits 2nd in the conference (17th nationally) with 74 assists. His 6.2 assists per game is 2nd in the league and 24th in D-II. With 1.4 steals per game he ranks fifth in the RMAC. His 36.5 minutes per game is 2nd.
• Senior Mika Nuolivirta is shooting 53.9 percent from the field to rank 6th in the RMAC.
• Sophomore Donovan Oldham leads the team in rebounding with 6.6 boards per game, which
ranks 11th in the RMAC.
Head Coach Ralph Turner earned win number 100 as the CSU-Pueblo bench boss with an 84-65 home win against Rogers State to start the season Nov. 10. As the CSU-Pueblo head coach, he owns an 102-76 (.573) record in seven seasons. He owns the third most wins in ThunderWolves men's basketball history. The Dec. 30, 2016 win against Black Hills State was the 450th in his storied men's basketball collegiate head coaching career that spans 22 seasons.
The ThunderWolves are struggling at home this season with a 2-6 record, but under seventh-year Pack Head Coach Ralph Turner, CSU-Pueblo owns a 54-34 (.614) record at Massari Arena.
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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.