Pack's struggles leaves it needing to win bulk of season's final games to earn postseason berth.
SILVER CITY, N.M. (GoThunderWolves.com - Jan. 28, 2012) - CSU-Pueblo wasn't quite in a must-win Saturday night at Western New Mexico, but the game was very crucial for the Pack as teams jockey for postseason berths, and the Pack fell short, losing 71-66.
CSU-Pueblo's loss was its third straight, and drops the squad to an unenviable 6-9 record in RMAC play and 9-10 mark overall, leaving it in the bottom quarter of the RMAC standings with seven regular season games remaining.
CSU-Pueblo was in a battle all night long with Western New Mexico, mired in a game that was close for the most part but saw the Mustangs pull away late. The Mustangs held a tenuous 31-28 lead at halftime, which turned into a 31-31 tie at the beginning of the second half after a Bryse Velasquez (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) three-pointer, and from that point, neither team would go up more than five for the first six minutes of the half.
However, with the score tied at 40-40 with just under 14 minutes remaining in the game, Western New Mexico began to pull away, going on a 9-0 run and never losing the lead again. CSU-Pueblo would get as close as four during a late rally, when a Jed Knafelc (So., Highlands Ranch, Colo.) three-pointer with 43 seconds remaining, cutting the lead to 68-64. But the ThunderWolves could not string together two consecutive scores and make the stops it needed to down the stretch to steal the win.
Ty Trahern (Sr., Kit Carson, Colo.) led the ThunderWolves with 20 points while Velasquez chipped in 12 points to go along with four assists, pacing the Pack's scoring.
The ThunderWolves will try to right the ship next Saturday when it travels to UC-Colorado Springs to take on the Mountain Lions.