PUEBLO, Colo. (December 1, 2016) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team begins Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play Dec. 2-3 at No. Fort Lewis College and Adams State University. Both contests are set for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.
Last Time Out: The Pack went 1-1 in Stephenville, Texas last weekend. The Pack upset No. 7 Tarleton State University, 79-78, before falling to an undefeated Texas A&M University-Commerce squad, 94-91.
Junior Josh Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored 11 of his 16 points in the first half and finished with four 3-pointers.
Newman again caught fire late and 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.
Liggett's nine 3-pointers fell just one short of the program record of 10, set by David Bradshaw against Regis University, Feb. 24, 1998, and is tied for the most by a men's player in NCAA Division II this season. 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.
Bench Play: The Pack have scored 28 or more points off the bench in four of five games this season. The leading scoring, Mark Williams, has come off the bench in each game and averages 16.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 60.9%.
Long Range: The ThunderWolves finished 10th nationally last season with 11.0 3-pointers per game and hit on a 37.7 percentage (fourth in the RMAC). In the first five games, the Pack have knocked down 44 3-pointers (8.8 per contest), which is third in the RMAC and are shooting at a 40.4 percent clip. Liggett leads the team with 16 daggers from downtown, while his 50 percent (16-for-32) shooting is fourth in the RMAC and 38th nationally.
Sweet Shooting: The Pack are shooting 51.7 percent from the field this early season, which is second in the RMAC and 17th nationally. CSU-Pueblo has shot above the 50 percent mark in seven of the 10 halves this season. Williams is second in the RMAC with a 60.9 percentage, while Kahler's 59.1 percent from the field is third in the league.
Block Party: Kahler finished first in the RMAC with 64 blocks last season, which ranked 22nd nationally. His 2.21 blocks per game was 21st. He owns 10 blocked shots this season to lead the conference, while his 2.0 blocks per game is 31st nationally.
Helping Hand: The Pack are fifth in the conference with 5.0 assists per game. Will Newman owns 4.8 helpers per contest to sit fourth in the RMAC.
Scouting The Opponents: Fort Lewis ranks No. 20 in the NABC poll with a 5-1 record. The Skyhawks have won five straight after falling to West Texas A&M in the opener. FLC ranks top 10 nationally in seven categories, which includes first in 3-point field goal percentage at 50 percent. The squad ranks fourth in scoring margin (28.7 ppg), fifth in 3-point field goals per game (12.0) and assists per game (20.5 apg). Will Morse ranks fourth nationally in assist to turnover ratio (5.3) and 3-point field goal percentage (58.6%). Josh Blaylock has 16.8 points per game and 19 3-pointers to lead the Pack in both categories.
The Pack were 0-3 against the Skyhawks last season with a 87-76 home loss, 99-85 road loss and a RMAC Shootout First Round loss by the score of 89-86. FLC hasn't lost at home since
Adams State owns a three-game win streak and are 3-3 entering conference play. The Grizzlies will play New Mexico Highlands Friday before entertaining the Pack. ASU has scored 88.1 points per game to sit second in the RMAC and 31st nationally. They are shooting 43 percent from long range to rank third in the league and 19th nationally. The Grizzlies have five players scoring in double figures, guided by Shane Johnson's 14.8 points per game. Brandon Pasker owns 11.5 points and a team-best 5.8 rebounds per game.
The ThunderWolves were 1-1 against ASU last season with an 84-63 home win and a loss on the road, 85-78.
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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