|Posted January 22, 2009|
ThunderWolves fall short at Mesa State
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The ThunderWolves held a slim lead over Mesa State for the bulk of a neck-and-neck showdown in Grand Junction Thursday, but a late surge by the Mavericks led to a 65-61 Pack loss.
After taking over the lead at the 13:53 mark of the first half, the ThunderWolves only relinquished the lead once, opening up a lead of as much as ten, by a 54-44 advantage halfway through the second half.
But the bottom fell out when Mesa State responded with an 18-5 run at the close of the game. After trailing by that 10-point margin, Mesa State overtook the ThunderWolves at the 1:46 mark of the second half, jumping ahead 60-59 on a trip to the charity stripe by Ryan Mathews. The Mavericks added two more, again on free throws by Mathews, taking a 62-59 lead with 31 seconds left, forcing the Pack to foul its way out of the precarious position, but to no avail.
CSU-Pueblo's collapse can be traced to its second half shooting, just 35 percent on field goals, compared to a 54 percent shooting performance in the first half. Mesa State also took Marc Williams (Jr., Seattle, Wash.) out of the game in the second half, holding him to just six points after he put up 14 on the Mavericks in the first half.
Mesa State was also stellar from the line, going 18-for-26. During their 18-5 run, Mesa State was 14-for-18 from the line, making up the point margin in a hurry.
The loss drops the Pack to 7-9 overall and 4-4 in RMAC play. The ThunderWolves will look for the weekend split when they travel to Gunnison to take on Western State Friday.