COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (February 17, 2018) - It hasn't been a storybook senior season, both as a team and individually, for Colorado State University-Pueblo guard Josh Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo.), but Saturday's 100-78 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference road victory at Colorado Christian University will be something he won't soon forget. The senior scored a career high 26 points, backed by a career-best seven 3-pointers, to surpass 1,000 points in his career.
Smith knocked down his sixth 3-pointer of the evening early in the second half to become the 23rd member of the ThunderWolves men's basketball program to reach the milestone. He is the second student-athlete to reach the fete this season, as fellow senior Will Newman (G, Hawthorne, Calif.) achieved the honor before the holiday break.
With the seven 3-pointers, Smith now has 240 career buckets from beyond the arc to rank fourth all-time at CSU-Pueblo.
Newman made some history of his own Saturday, as he totaled 14 points and eight assists in the game. The senior moved into ninth all-time in scoring with 1,247 points and surpassed 400 career assists. Newman now ranks third all-time in school history with 407 helpers. He joins newly minted CSU-Pueblo Athletics Hall of Famer Guy Taylor (1984-88) as the only players in program history to record 1,000 points and 400 assists.
In the win against Colorado Christian (4-22, 3-17 RMAC), the ThunderWolves (11-15, 9-12 RMAC) shot the ball at a 57.4 percent clip from the field and hit 13 3-pointers. The Pack were balanced with 46 points coming in the paint. Fifteen CCU turnovers translated into 17 CSU-Pueblo points, while the ThunderWolves won the battle of the boards 38-33, which included 11 on the offensive glass.
A big part of the dominance in the paint was center Jason Anderson (R-So., Colorado Springs, Colo.), who wasn't going to let the seniors have all the fun. He finished the game with 21 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals. He was 10-for-15 (66.7%) from the field and hit one of his two 3-point attempts.
Freshman Corey Seng (G/F, Highlands Ranch, Colo.) scored 10 of the team's 33 bench points and added five rebounds.
The two teams played even through the first 13 minutes of the game and with 7:18 showing on the clock, the Cougars led 26-23. A 9-0 run, capped by an Anderson dunk with 4:30 left in the first half jump started the Pack and gave the road team a 32-26 advantage. The run got better, as the ThunderWolves closed the final seven minutes of the first frame on a 23-4 hot streak to lead 46-30 at the break. During that stretch, Smith totaled three 3-pointers and scored seven points, Anderson and Seng each tallied eight and Newman pitched in four.
The second half lead reached its highest point at 29 with 14:49 remaining, which just happened to be Smith's 3-pointer to send him over 1,000 career points. CSU-Pueblo closed the game with reserves and posted the 22-point victory, its second largest of the season.
The ThunderWolves finish the regular season at home Feb. 23-24 when it hosts Colorado Mesa University Friday and Western State Colorado University Saturday. Both games are slated for 7:30 p.m. with Saturday's contest serving as Senior Night.
The Pack still have a path to the postseason, but will need two victories to have a chance. CSU-Pueblo will also need either University of Colorado Colorado Springs or New Mexico Highlands University to lose both its contests next week.
– 30 –
As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.