CLAREMORE, Okla. (November 12, 2016) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team battled with No. 23 University of Arkansas of Fort Smith Saturday, but came up on the losing end, 88-83, in a neutral site game in Claremore, Oklahoma.
The ThunderWolves (0-2) held a late lead for the second straight game, but couldn't hang on to the nationally ranked foe. CSU-Pueblo was ahead 83-73 with 2:44 remaining after senior center Nelson Kahler (Noosa Heads, Australia) recorded a layup.
The Pack would fail to score the rest of the way, as UAFS rattled off 15 unanswered points to complete the comeback and start the season 1-1. CSU-Pueblo had opportunities down the stretch, but the Lions caught fire and the ThunderWolves couldn't find a way to extinguish it.
Sophomore Gavin Ligget (G, Limon, Colo.) recorded 19 points and added four rebounds with three assists. He knocked down five of the Pack's 11 3-pointers and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.
CSU-Pueblo shot 56.9 percent from the field, while the Lions recorded a 46.8 percentage, despite hitting on 14-of-25 (56%) from long range. UAFS outrebounded the Pack 34-27, which included 11 offensive boards that resulted in 14 points. The ThunderWolves also turned the ball over 18 times, which equaled 20 points for their opponent.
The Pack hit on 58.6 percent of their shots in the first half and held a 49-37 lead at the break.
CSU-Pueblo opened an advantage as large as 17 early in the second half, but the Lions chipped away at the lead for the next 15 minutes of game clock before running up the victory in the final minutes.
The ThunderWolves will open the home portion of their schedule Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. for a nonconferene battle with league rival University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
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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.