|Posted January 19, 2008|
ThunderWolves get the sweep with win over Highlands
LAS VEGAS, N.M. - To put it lightly, the
ThunderWolves have been a streaky team this season, showing strings
of red hot play followed by ice cold streaks.
The Pack had one of those best of times, worst of times nights Saturday against New Mexico Highlands, riding a hot first half to a win over the Cowboys by a 82-68 score.
The ThunderWolves were absolutely red hot and unstoppable in the first half, as the Pack played perhaps the finest 20 minutes of basketball of the season. The Pack shot a staggering 63 percent from the floor, led by Julien Franklin and a bench player who came in and stepped up big, freshman Daniel Pierce.
Franklin and Pierce combined to go 10-for-15 on three-point tries, netting 15 and 21 points, respectively, in the first half as the Pack held a 48-28 advantage at half.
"Ju played phenomenal," Pack coach Patrick Eberhart said. "Since the UCCS game (Dec. 15), he's been shooting 52 percent from the floor and 57 percent from three. Now Daniel got into the flow, and I haven't seen that guy shoot like that. He had a confident game and we needed it."
But to the Cowboys' credit, they put a stop to the things the ThunderWolves were doing best, and nearly did enough to pull a comeback.
The Cowboys held Franklin and Pierce scoreless in the second half while putting together a run of their own. Trailing by double digits all night long, the Cowboys got as close as nine, but the ThunderWolves circled the wagons and halted the Cowboys' momentum to hold on for the win.
"We had a bit of a lull in the second half, but we did make some plays to make sure they didn't get back into it," Eberhart said.
The win puts the Pack at 6-10 overall and 3-6 in RMAC play, giving them new life in the RMAC playoff race. It sets up a big showdown Tuesday against 11-5 Adams State at the Colorado State Fair Events Center, in which a Pack win suddenly vaults them into the upper half of the RMAC Western Division standings.
"After all that we've been through, we're playing some real good basketball right now," Eberhart said. "Our goal on this trip was to get a sweep, and we needed that to get back into the race. Now we're back, and Tuesday's game is really important."
The Cowboys remained winless with an 0-17 mark. The Pack's win marks the first time this season they were able to sweep their weekend games.