ThunderWolves host Cougars for Dr. Dan Honor Roll Night Tuesday

PUEBLO, Colo. (January 15, 2018) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team (7-10, 4-7 RMAC) hosts Colorado Christian University (3-13, 2-8 RMAC) Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Massari Arena on Dr. Dan Caprioglio Honor Roll Night.


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Last Time Out

The ThunderWolves went 1-1 last weekend in RMAC road contests.

The Pack suffered a 63-60 loss at MSU Denver Friday, losing in the final 10 seconds. Neither team had a lead larger than six the entire games, as the contest was tied on 10 occasions with eight lead changes. 

Will Newman finished the game with 17 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season, the second with rebounds. The two centers were the other members of the Pack to score in double figures. Jason Anderson totaled 11 points in 22 minutes with four rebounds, while Mika Nuolivirta recorded 10 points on 5-of-8 (62.5%) shooting with two blocks. 

The Pack players who hail from Colorado Springs, Colorado shined Saturday and scored a combined 50 points in the team's 81-71 win at UCCS.

Springs natives Jason AndersonDonovan Oldham and Josh Smith (Sr., Guard) not only combined for 50 points, but shot 53.8 percent from the field, pulled down 12 rebounds and added six steals. Anderson guided the trio with 22 points on 7-of-10 (70%) shooting from the field and added seven rebounds. Oldham recorded 15 points with four rebounds, while Smith knocked down three 3-pointers and totaled 13 points. He also added five steals. 

Senior Will Newman (G, Hawthorne, Calif.) posted his second straight double-double (fourth of the season) with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He hit four 3-pointers (3-of-6 from long range in the second half) and added three assists with a steal. 

The two teams played an extremely close first half, as the lead changed three times and there were six ties, which included a knotted affair 33-33 at the halftime buzzer. The 3-ball came alive in the second frame, as the ThunderWolves hit three in the first six minutes to help post a 19-4 run. That stretch gave the Pack a 52-37 lead and broke open the game, as the Mountain Lions never recovered.

The Cougars

The Cougars are 3-13 overall with a 2-8 record in league play. CCU has lost five straight, including falling last weekend at Western State (86-72) and Colorado Mesa (85-70). Colorado Christian is 0-6 in road games this season (0-5 in conferece). Stefan Hackethal has led the team in scoring in seven games and has a team-best 16.9 points per game. Jeremiah Hanson adds 16.1 points per game and pulls down a team-best 4.7 rebounds per contest. Isaiah Hanson owns 15 points per game, while all three have 30 or more 3-pointers on the season. CCU is hitting 8.7 3-pointers per game to rank fourth in the RMAC. The Cougars have the worst turnover margin in the league (-2.87) and have the second worst rebounding margin (-4.1). 

Last Season vs the Cougars

The ThunderWolves went 2-0 in the regular season against CCU, but the Pack have a bad taste in their mouth after the Cougars visited Massari Arena for the first round of the RMAC Shootout and defeated CSU-Pueblo 54-52. The ThunderWolves won at Colorado Christian 98-94 and at home 87-79. In the three games, the Pack averaged 10.3 3-pointers per contest, while Gavin Liggett and Josh Smith each hit nine from long range in the three games. 

Block Party

With 4.1 blocks per game, the Pack sit 3rd in the RMAC and 29th nationally, while the 69 total blocks is 2nd in the league and 23rd in Division II. Senior Mika Nuolivirta has 26 blocks to rank 2nd in the conference and 51st nationally (1.6 bpg is 3rd in the RMAC), while sophomore Donovan Oldham has 13 rejections to sit 11th in the league. 

Long Range

The ThunderWolves rank 1st in the RMAC and 31st nationally in 3-pointers per game with 9.9 per contest. The 169 daggers from downtown rank 1st in the conference and 23rd in Division II. CSU-Pueblo has attempted 455 3-pointers this season, which is the 2nd most in the league and 25th in Division II.

Senior Josh Smith is 9th in the RMAC in 3-pointers per game with 2.2. Smith's 35 3-pointers is a team best and ranks 11th in the RMAC.

Thanks for the Charity 

Senior Will Newman has made (87) and attempted (102) free throws this season to rank 2nd and 4th, respectfully, in the RMAC this season. He ranks 22nd nationally in free throws made and 35th in free throws attempted. His 85.3 percentage from the line is 6th in the conference. 

Ball Security

The ThunderWolves average 11.6 turnovers per game, which is the 4th lowest in the RMAC. 

Leading the Way

Senior Will Newman is 5th in the league in scoring with 16.8 points per game. He sits 3rd in the conference (22nd nationally) with 96 assists. His 5.6 assists per game is 2nd in the league and 24th in D-II. The senior's 2.0 assist/turnover ratio is 5th best in the league. With 1.3 steals per game he ranks 5th in the RMAC. His 36:3 minutes per game is 2nd in the conference and 34th nationally. Newman leads the team with 6.2 rebounds per game, which ranks @@@. 

• Senior Mika Nuolivirta is shooting 55.0 percent from the field to rank 6th in the RMAC. 

RMAC Players of the Week

In his first weekend of competition at CSU-Pueblo, Jason Anderson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) earned RMAC Offensive Player of the Week honors Dec. 18. 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. 

Senior Will Newman earned his first-career RMAC Defensive Player of the Week award Nov. 27 after a strong performance against UCCS. He totaled 25 points and eight rebounds, seven defensive. He knocked down 9-of-11 from the field and a pair of 3-pointers, going a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. The senior added a blocked shot, steal and five assists.  

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 is tied for 18th all-time at CSU-Pueblo with 1,090 career points. 

Coaching Milestone

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 104-79 (.568) 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.

Home Cookin'

The ThunderWolves are struggling at home this season with a 3-7 record, but under seventh-year Pack Head Coach Ralph Turner, CSU-Pueblo owns a 55-35 (.611) record at Massari Arena. 

1,000 Career Points Watch

Senior Josh Smith has collected 910 career points, just 90 shy of the milestone. Smith will need to average 8.2 points per game in the remaining guaranteed 11 games to achieve this record.

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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.