GOLDEN, Colo. (January 20, 2018) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team erased a 17-point halftime deficit with 13 3-pointers in the second half to earn an 83-79 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference road win at Colorado School of Mines Saturday in Golden, Colorado.
The ThunderWolves (9-10, 6-7 RMAC) won their third straight game for the first time in this up-and-down season. The Pack were riding a down wave in the first half against the Orediggers (14-4, 8-4 RMAC) and shot just 23.7 percent to trail 41-24. The second half was a major upswing, as the road team shot 56.3 percent from the field and hit 13-of-17 (76.5%) attempts from long range to clear the deficit and post the four-point win. The ThunderWolves finished the game shooting 57.7 percent from 3-point land.
CSU-Pueblo entered the game ranked first in the conference and 31st nationally in 3-pointers made per game (9.9 3's per game), while the 15 daggers from downtown was the most in league play this season and the fourth time in 2017-18 the Pack have hit 15 or more shots from downtown. On the other side of the court, Mines had been averaging 44.3 percent from 3-point land to not only lead the RMAC, but rank third nationally. The home team shot 31.3 percent from beyond the arc and were just 1-of-6 in the second half.
In addition to a lights out performance from 3-point land, the ThunderWolves knocked down a cool 93.3 percent from the free throw line, hitting on 14-of-15 attempts. The Pack also didn't hurt themselves and totaled a season-low four turnovers. CSU-Pueblo produced nine steals and Mines recorded 11 turnovers, as the road team had 12 points off miscues.
Not one player can be credited for the comeback, as two players hit four 3-pointers in the final 20 minutes, one had three and another had two. Senior Will Newman (G, Hawthorne, Calif.) was 4-for-4 in the second half from long range, which included the go-ahead-for-good shot from downtown to put the Pack in the 79-77 lead with 1:44 remaining. The shot came just 40 seconds after junior Gavin Liggett (G, Limon, Colo.) hit his fourth 3-pointer of the half to get the ThunderWolves within one. CSU-Pueblo produced a defensive stop after Newman's bucket and then center Jason Anderson (R-So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) gathered his game-high 21st and 22nd points of the evening on a layup to give the Pack a two-possession lead with 1:07 remaining.
Mines then got a quick layup of their own and the contest was a two-point game at 81-79 and 46 seconds left. Sophomore Donovan Oldham (G, Colorado Springs, Colo.) was 3-for-3 in the second half from long range an hit four in the game, but was blocked on his layup attempt with 20 ticks remaining and the Orediggers were hustling down the floor with an opportunity to tie the game or take a lead. Oldham redeemed himself on the other end and blocked an attempt by Mines, which fell in the hands of Liggett. He got the ball to Newman who was fouled with eight seconds remaining. Newman iced the game with two free throws and the ThunderWolves escaped with a win.
In the end, Anderson finished with 22 points and nine rebounds. Newman scored 16 of his 19 points in the 2nd half and added a total of eight rebounds, six assists and a career-high six steals. Oldham was 5-for-10 from the field and contributed 16 points with six rebounds. Liggett scored all his 13 points in the second half and was 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
The ThunderWolves return to Massari Arena Jan. 26-27 to battle Chadron State College and Regis University. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday serves as Take a Kid to the Game Night and will feature entertainment from Halftime Dogs. All youth 18 and under will earn a free general admission ticket and are invited to join Pack Athletics in the Kid's Zone (autographs with student-athletes, face painting, Pepsi products and more).
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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.