LAS VEGAS, N.M. (February 6, 2018) – Leading 79-77 with one minute left, Colorado State University-Pueblo Men's Basketball, could not close out New Mexico Highlands University, as the Cowboys bested the ThunderWolves 83-81 Tuesday at the John A. Wilson Complex.
Will Newman (Sr., Hawthorne, Calif.) poured in a career-high 33 points. Newman swished 12-of-12 at the free throw line and 9-of-16 from the field. He sank three 3-pointers. Defensively, Newman hauled in five rebounds and collected three steals.
Jason Anderson (R-So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) narrowly missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. Anderson blocked a season-high four shots. The Pack swatted seven shots and the Cowboys did not have a block.
Senior Josh Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored 10 points and hit three 3-pointers. Smith was an iron man, playing all 40 minutes. He had four rebounds, a steal, and a block.
Donovan Oldham (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) totaled 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. He made 2-of-4 from long range.
Mika Nuolivirta (Sr., Vantaa, Uusimaa, Finland) was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field. Nuolivirta scored eight points in just 16 points.
CSU-Pueblo sank 15-of-16 from the free throw line. Highlands only made 5-of-14 at the charity stripe.
Highlands used a 9-1 run to jump in front of the Pack 26-15 with 6:37 left in the first half. The ThunderWolves clawed back within five as an Anderson dunk made it 36-31 heading into intermission.
It took 6:30 for the Pack to tie the game at 48. Midway through the second half , the Pack took their first lead of the game 59-58.
A Smith 3-pointer put the Pack up 74-69 with just 4:35 on the clock. This five-point lead would be the Pack's biggest lead of the game. Oldham hit another 3-pointer that made it 77-72 with 3:19 left.
Highlands countered with a 5-0 run that tied the game with less than two minutes remaining. Newman made four consecutive free throws to put the Pack in front 81-77.
The Cowboys hit a 3-pointer to close the gap to one. After a Pack turnover, Highlands scored on a layup to take an 82-81 lead. An offensive foul called on the Pack gave the Cowboys the ball back. They hit a free throw to make it 83-81 with eight seconds to go. Newman tried to tie it, but his running layup fell off the back iron and the Cowboys escaped with an 83-81 win.
The Pack has lost four in a row. Three of these four losses have been by less than five points. They stand 10-14 overall with a 7-11 mark in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play. Highlands improved to 14-10 (9-9 RMAC), tying them for seventh in the RMAC standings.
CSU-Pueblo will look to get back in the win column Saturday when Westminster College comes calling to Massari Arena. Tip off between the Pack and Griffins is slated for 5:30 p.m.
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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.