SPEARFISH, S.D. (December 30, 2017) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team fell 78-54 at Black Hills State University Saturday to close the 2017 calendar year in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference road contest.
The ThunderWolves (5-8, 2-5 RMAC) were doubled-up in the second frame, losing 42-21 after trailing by just three at the halftime break to the Yellow Jackets (7-4, 4-3 RMAC). The Pack ended the game shooting 31.1 percent from the field, while BHSU shot 48.3 percent. CSU-Pueblo hit seven of its nine 3-pointers in the first half and finished the contest shooting 28.1 percent from long range. Rebounds were a major issue, as the ThunderWolves lost the category 55-25. Seventeen Yellow Jacket rebounds came on the offensive end and were converted into 25 points. The Pack forced 18 turnovers, which translated into 23 points off miscues.
Senior guard Will Newman (Hawthorne, Calif.) was the lone member of the team to score in double figures with 14. He hit a team-high three 3-pointers and added five assists, four rebounds and three steals. Senior center Mika Nuolivirta (Vantaa, Uusimaa, Finland) added nine points, while sophomore guard Donovan Oldham (Colorado Springs, Colo.) led the team with six rebounds.
CSU-Pueblo held the lead twice for a total of nine minutes in the first half. After trailing 9-3, the road team posted a 10-2 run to open a 13-11 lead with 13:30 left in the opening frame. The Pack opened a lead as large as nine with a Nuolivirta bucket from downtown that moved the score to 24-15 with just under 8:36 left.
The ThunderWolves advantage was again nine at 28-19 with a Newman dagger from downtown and 5:51 left in the half, but the Pack wouldn't score for the next three minutes and the game was tied 28-28. The Yellow Jackets continued their run to the halftime buzzer and led 36-33 at the break.
The BHSU run continued into the second half, as the home team recorded a 17-8 advantage during the first 6:30 of the half. The lead was 53-41 at that point and would hit 20 for the first time with 8:49 remaining and the scoreboard showing 62-42. The Pack wouldn't snap the cold streak and fall by 24.
Next up are the first two matches of 2018, as the ThunderWolves host a pair of RMAC games Jan. 5-6. CSU-Pueblo welcomes South Dakota School of Mines Friday before a rematch with Black Hills State Saturday. Both games are slated for a 7:30 p.m. start.
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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.