PUEBLO, Colo. (December 9, 2016) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team (4-4, 2-1 RMAC) begins the home portion of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference schedule Dec. 10 versus Westminster College (2-2, 2-0 RMAC) at 7:30 p.m.
Last Time Out: The Pack improved to 4-4 overall and 2-1 in RMAC play with an 87-67 victory at New Mexico Highlands. The ThunderWolves shot 50 percent, which marked the eighth game this season the team has posted a shooting percentage at 50 percent or better. CSU-Pueblo entered the game ranked seventh nationally in field goal percentage (52.5%).
The ThunderWolves won the rebounding category 35-23, which included 13 offensive boards. CSU-Pueblo totaled 14 assists to the Cowboys' six.
Junior Mark Williams recorded a team-high 18 points and added a squad-best eight rebounds (six on the offensive glass). He shot 7-of-14 (50%) from the field and added a steal. Williams led a group of seven players in double figures. Junior Josh Smith knocked down four of the Pack's eight 3-pointers for 12 points. He also contributed five rebounds and two steals.
Smith recorded all four of his daggers from downtown in the first half, as the ThunderWolves never trailed in the game. The road team built a halftime lead of 43-29, thanks in part to a 51.6 to 38.7 percent shooting disparity in the opening 20 minutes.
Sweet Shooting: The Pack are shooting 52.1 percent from the field this season, which is second in the RMAC and sits 10th nationally. CSU-Pueblo has shot above the 50 percent mark in all games and 11 of the 16 halves this season.
Center Nelson Kahler's 66.1 percentage from the field is first in the league and 17th in NCAA Division II. Newman owns a 60.9 percentage and is third in the RMAC and 43rd nationally, while Williams owns a 57.0 percent mark to sit fifth in the conference and 81st in the nation.
Bench Play: The Pack have scored more points off the bench than their opponent in six of eight games this season.
Guards Leading the Way: The Pack's leading scorer is Mark Williams with 16.1 points per game (8th in the RMAC). He has come off the bench in six games before this season. He is shooting 57.0 percent from the field and adds 5.6 rebounds per game. The leading rebounder is guard Rico Spikes, who has 5.8 rebounds per contest. Will Newman's 33 assists is a team best.
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 14 blocked shots this season to sit tied for the conference lead.
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). This season, the Pack have knocked down 8.5 3-pointers per contest, which is fourth in the RMAC and are shooting at a 38.9 percent clip (5th in RMAC).
Liggett leads the team with 22 daggers from downtown to rank fifth in the conference. He hit nine against Texas A&M Commerce Nov. 25 to fall one shy of the program record. The mark is the most in the RMAC this season and is tied for the second most in NCAA Division II in 2016-17.
Helping Hand: The Pack are fifth in the conference with 14.9 assists per game. Newman owns 4.1 helpers per contest to sit fifth in the RMAC.
Scouting Westminster: The Griffins started the season 0-2, but have won two straight against RMAC opponents. WC downed Western State 82-61 before defeating Colorado Mesa 89-68. Dayon Goodman leads the team with 16.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. He is shooting 52.9 percent from the field. Westminster is first in the RMAC in scoring defense with 63.2 points per game allowed and lead the league in field goal percentage defense with a 35.5 percent clip.
Last season the ThunderWolves fell on the road to the Griffins by the score of 89-75.
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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