Pack slip in final minutes to suffer opener loss at Rogers State, 85-82

Pack slip in final minutes to suffer opener loss at Rogers State, 85-82

CLAREMORE, Okla. (November 11, 2016) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team fell at Rogers State University, 85-82, Friday in the season opener in Claremore, Oklahoma. The ThunderWolves led 82-78 with just under two minutes remaining in the nonconnference contest.

A 3-pointer from junior Josh Smith (G, Colorado Springs, Colo.) handed the road team an 81-75 lead with 3:10 showing the regulation game clock. The Hillcats responded on their next possession with a dagger from downtown and the Pack led 81-78.

Senior Rico Spikes (G, Merriville, Ind.) hit the on back end of a two-shot foul and the ThunderWolves owned an 82-78 advantage with 1:43 left.

Following two Rogers State layups and a Pack turnover, the game was tied for the first time since a 30-30 stalemate with 6:10 left in the first half.

With 38 seconds to go and the game tied 82-82, Spikes had the ball poked away from him, but was able to recover and call a timeout. After the whistle an altercation occurred with Spikes and a couple Hillcats, which resulted in Spikes being called for a technical foul with just 23 ticks left.

RSU hit on both its freebies and the Pack had the ball with 16 seconds left on the shot clock. Unfortunately, CSU-Pueblo wouldn't get a shot off and turned the ball over. On the inbound, the Hillcats were able to elude the Pack until one second left before CSU-Pueblo fouled. Rogers State made one of two, which was good enough for the 85-82 win.

The Pack had six players score in double figures, guided by 15 points from both junior guard Will Newman (Lawndale, Calif.) and senior forward Stevan Radokovic (Belgrade, Serbia). Newman added six assists and three rebounds, while Radokovic went 5-for-6 from the field and totaled four rebounds off the bench.

Senior center Nelson Kahler (Noosa Heads, Australia) recorded 14 points and five rebounds, but was on the bench at the end of the game after fouling out with 3:29 remaining.

CSU-Pueblo shot an even 50 percent from the field (29-of-58), but allowed RSU to post a 52.7 percentage (29-of-55). The Pack hit seven 3-pointers (7-for-17), won the rebounding battle 32-29 and totaled more assists, 17-12. 

The ThunderWolves coughed up 20 turnovers and only caused 14, which resulted in a 33-10 advantage for the Hillcats in points off miscues.

The Pack conclude the season-opening tournament playing No. 23 University of Arkansas of Fort Smith, Saturday at 1 p.m. MT.

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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.