ThunderWolves handle CCU 96-85 with team effort

PUEBLO, Colo. (January 16, 2018) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team put a complete team effort into a 96-85 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference home victory Tuesday against Colorado Christian University.

The ThunderWolves (8-10, 5-7 RMAC) shot 56.5 percent from the field in the win and knocked down 10 3-pointers, five in each half. The Pack played well for the entire 40 minutes, as they held the lead for 36:30 of game clock. CSU-Pueblo piled in 44 points in the paint, totaled 16 points off 15 turnovers and had four players score 15 or more points. 

Center Jason Anderson (R-So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) posted 27 points on 11-of-15 (73.3%) shooting from the field. He added seven rebounds with three blocks in 29 minutes. Senior Will Newman (G, Hawthorne, Calif.) finished the contest with 18 points, nine assists and six rebounds with four steals. Coming off the bench, senior Mark Williams (F, Chino Hills, Calif.) scored 17 points on a 7-of-9 (77.8%) effort from the field. Junior guard Gavin Liggett (Limon, Colo.) had the hot hand and hit four 3-pointers and totaled 15 points. 

After a back-and-forth first five minutes, the ThunderWolves took the lead for good on a Mika Nuolivirta (Sr., C, Vantaa, Uusimaa, Finland) free throw to move the score to 11-10. The Pack's lead was four at 20-16 with nine minutes left in the first half when the 3-ball took over. Williams knocked one down, then Liggett tickled the twine for three daggers from downtown in a matter of three minutes to push the advantage to 14 at 32-18. Anderson pitched in four more points and with five minutes to play the home team was winning 36-18 following the 16-2 run. 

The Pack pushed the lead to as large as 18 before settling with the 16 point advantage of 47-31 at the break. CSU-Pueblo held CCU to just 35.7 percent shooting in the first frame, while hitting on 54.8 percent of its shots. 

The second half lead reached 19 before CCU chipped away and got within three possessions at 79-70 with 3:32 remaining in regulation. Down the stretch the ThunderWolves were able to match every Cougar bucket, while Newman scored eight of his 18 in those final minutes. The Pack never let the lead dip below nine the rest of the way to earn their second straight victory. 

Next is a road test at Colorado School of Mines Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. in Golden, Colorado. 

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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.