|Posted December 12, 2009|
Bench helps Pack grind out win over UCCS
CSU-Pueblo 79, UC-Colorado Springs 72
CSU-Pueblo again proved it has one of the deepest teams in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference as the Pack bench put up 38 points, 20 coming in a game-high effort by Daniel Pierce (Jr., Edgewood, N.M.) as the Pack claimed a 79-72 win over UC-Colorado Springs Saturday.
The Pack's win was its third in as many RMAC games, and also gave the Pack the early edge in the "Steel and Silver Series," the all-sports competition between CSU-Pueblo and UCCS.
The ThunderWolves started out incredibly cold, going 1-for-10 from the field to start the game but still held a 10-7 lead. But UCCS went on a 17-10 run to take an 11-point lead, 32-21, late in the second half. The ThunderWolves trailed 34-28 at halftime, after a late flurry helped the Pack get back into striking distance.
But the ThunderWolves made the adjustments they needed to at halftime, becoming more active on the boards and getting more aggressive in their transition defense. By game's end, CSU-Pueblo had forced 16 UCCS turnovers, 11 coming by steals. Four of the thefts came from Nathan Tigner (Fr., Fort Worth, Tex.), who saw just 15 minutes on the floor but was arguably the Pack's most productive player. He netted a career-high 12 points from the point guard position, going 5-for-5 from the field.
Pierce added to the bench productivity, getting one away from a career high with a 20-point night, sinking four threes and going 6-for-9 from the field overall.
The "Steel and Silver" implications puts the Pack at an 18-6 disadvantage in the series after entering the night trailing 18-0. The series is scored by awarded the winner of the season series in each of the 10 intercollegiate sports the two schools share four points. UCCS jumped out to its lead by virtue of scoring season sweeps in men's and women's soccer, volleyball, cross country and men's golf. To even the series, the ThunderWolves must win next week's non-conference men's basketball match at UCCS, then claim season series in softball, women's indoor track and women's outdoor track.
CSU-Pueblo's next matchup will be Tuesday at NAIA Johnson & Wales in Denver before heading to Colorado Springs Friday for another showdown with the Mountain Lions.