|Posted December 13, 2008|
ThunderWolves win it late against Chadron
PUEBLO, Colo. -- Roman Van Allen (Jr., Los Angeles, Calif.) and Rome Smith (Sr., Denver, Colo.) scored 19 and 18 points, respectively to lift the CSU-Pueblo ThunderWolves over the Chadron State College Eagles by a score of 70-69. The Pack’s deadly backcourt duo hit several big shots down the stretch and helped the Pack come from behind to record the win, raising the men’s RMAC record to a perfect 2-0.
Chadron surged ahead in the second half on the virtue of a 17-5 run, fueled in part by two CSU-Pueblo fouls against three-point shooters. Kevin McClelland, who had nine points at halftime, finished with 19 points, with 11 of those coming from the charity stripe.
The free throw factor combined with eight second half Pack turnovers to help turn what was a 44-39 ThuderWolves’ lead in the second half into a sizeable deficit. The Eagles went ahead 59-52 when Tim McLaurin hit a three pointer with 7:45 remaining.
Fortunately for the ThunderWolves, Smith, who had been shelved with foul trouble early in the half, came off the bench to team up with Van Allen and help restore order. He hit a three-pointer at 5:41 to pull the Pack to 57-63. Van Allen sank a three-pointer moments later to cut the lead to five, and Smith drained another three at 4:10 to get the Pack within four.
A scoring drive to the hoop by Smith brought the ThunderWolves closer, and a score on the post by Jake Trahern (Sr., Kit Carson, Colo.), who finished with 13 points, brought the pack to 68-69. All of the scoring was part of an 18-6 run put together by the men, which countered Chadron’s earlier 17-5 run which helped the visitors amass their lead.
Smith, who scored 15 points in the second half, hit a pair of free throws with 1:05 remaining to put the Pack up 70-69, and he then secured a crucial rebound at the other end off of a Tyler Coffman miss to put the men’s fate in their own hands.
The ThunderWolves scored on eight of their final 10 possessions of the game, but couldn’t manage a basket on their last opportunity to put the game out of reach.
With 33.7 seconds left, the Pack inbounded the ball but couldn’t convert, and Chadron frantically brought the ball up the court looking for a score with 11 seconds left. The Eagles poked and probed around the perimeter but ultimately threw up a desperation shot at the buzzer, sealing the ThunderWolves’ comeback.
Game notes and numbers:
The ThunderWolves led 38-35 at halftime.
Van Allen hit a three-pointer for the first score of the game, and finished 5-of-7 from three-point range. He made seven field goals altogether.
The men shot only 13-of-24 from the free throw line, or 54.2 percent. Chadron, meanwhile, was 21-of-26 from the line, or almost 81 percent.
The Pack held Chadron’s Tim
McLaurin to 15 points -- a full six points below his season