STEPHENVILLE, Texas (November 26, 2016) – The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team erased a 13-point halftime deficit to hold a small lead late, but would fall in the end, 94-91 to Texas A&M University-Commerce, Saturday.
The ThunderWolves (2-3) trailed the Lions (6-0) 49-36 at the half, but won the first 11:31 of the second frame by the score of 35-21 to take their second lead of the game at 71-70. During the run, three players scored eight or more points, guided by nine from senior center Nelson Kahler (Noosa Heads, Australia). Sophomore guard Gavin Ligget (Limon, Colo.) knocked down two of his nine 3-pointers in the run and totaled eight points. Junior guard Mark Williams (Chino Hills, Calif.) also recorded eight points.
After trading buckets for the next six minutes, junior guard Will Newman (Hawthorne, Calif.) knocked down 3-point daggers on back-to-back possessions to hand the ThunderWolves an 89-86 lead with 2:14 left. Turnovers on the next two possessions allowed the Lions to take a 90-89 lead with just 44 ticks left, but a Newman jumper on the other end gave CSU-Pueblo the small 91-90 lead and 32 seconds remaining.
Texas A&M Commerce was able to score with 18 seconds left to open the 92-91 advantage. The Pack tried a rebuttal with a Ligget 3-point attempt, but it wouldn't fall and they were forced to foul. Down 94-91 with eight seconds remaining, the ThunderWolves turned the ball over before getting a shot attempt, suffering the three-point loss.
Ligget's nine 3-pointers fell just one short of the program record of 10, set by David Bradshaw against Regis University, Feb. 24, 1998. He finished with a career-high 29 points on 9-of-14 (64.3%) shooting from beyond the arc. Newman finished with 19 points, five rebounds and three assists. Williams came off the bench and tallied 16 points with seven rebounds. Kahler added 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.
The ThunderWolves shot 57.9 percent from the field in the second half to finish with a 50.8 percentage. The Pack have shot above 50 percent in every game this season and own a 51.7 percentage. Unfortunately, CSU-Pueblo allowed the Lions to shoot 54.3 percent from the field. The Pack were 14-of-30 (46.7%) from long range and allowed their opponent just four buckets from beyond the arc. The ThunderWolves won the rebounding battle 37-36 and dished out 17 assists. The Pack turned the ball over 18 times, which resulted in 26 points off turnovers for the Lions.
The Texas A&M Commerce lead reached as high as 16 late in the 1st half, while the Lions led for 35:03 of game clock to the Pack's 3:07. The lead changed a dozen times throughout the game.
The ThunderWolves will now turn their attention to league play, Dec. 2-3 at Fort Lewis College and Adams State University, respectfully. Both games are scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.
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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.