DURANGO, Colo. (December 2, 2016) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team owned a second half, 18-point lead at No. 20 Fort Lewis College, Friday in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference opener, but couldn't hang on for the victory, as they fell, 105-97 in overtime.
The ThunderWolves (2-4, 0-1 RMAC) led 58-40 with 16:18 remaining in the second half, but the Skyhawks (6-1, 1-0 RMAC) battled back and took their first lead of the game with 4:56 left. The home team posted a 36-17 run during that 11 minute span to open a 76-75 advantage.
After trading buckets down the stretch, the Pack's lead was four with 30 seconds remaining and the scoreboard reading 87-83, following two junior Will Newman (Hawthorne, Calif.) free throws. FLC came down and forced a foul with 20 seconds left. Joshua Blaylock hit the back end of two free throws and the two teams were separated by three points. A poor turnover by the ThunderWolves in the Skyhawks' offensive end gave them the ball back and they were fouled again with 11 ticks left. This time, Blaylock hit both of his free throws and the contest was a one-point affair at 87-86. The Pack successfully in-bounded the ball and Newman was fouled with 10 seconds remaining. A 90 percent free throw shooter entering the game, Newman missed his first and made his second to push the score to 88-86. With just two seconds left, FLC scored on a layup and sent the game to overtime.
Fort Lewis used the momentum of the comeback to run away with the extra period 16-8 to post the eight-point victory.
The ThunderWolves shot 64.3 percent from the field in the first half to open a 45-31 lead on the nationally-ranked Skyhawks. In the end, the Pack shot at a 55 percent clip, while FLC hit on 45.3 percent of its shots. The telling stat was Fort Lewis' 16-6 advantage in offensive boards with turned into 21 points for the Skyhawks, while the six offensive rebounds for the ThunderWolves translated into just 10 points.
Fort Lewis knocked down three of its 11 3-pointers in the overtime session, while the ThunderWolves also hit on 11 from long range in the game.
Guards Newman and Rico Spikes (Sr., Merriville, Ind.) led the Pack with 21 points each. Newman knocked down three 3-pointers to help his cause, while he also added five rebounds. Spikes posted a season-high with 21 points on 50 percent shooting from the field (6-for-12). The team's leading rebounder added six boards.
Senior center Nelson Kahler (Noosa Heads, Australia) added 14 points on 5-of-8 (62.5%) performance, while the league's leader in blocks added three more to his total. After posting nine 3-pointers in the last game, Gavin Liggett (So., Limon, Colol) led the Pack with four daggers from downtown and totaled 14 points.
The Pack look to rebound against Adams State University Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Alamosa, Colorado.
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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