PUEBLO, Colo. (January 14, 2017) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team won its ninth game in the last 10 contests Saturday, as the ThunderWolves rolled up visiting Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference rival University of Colorado Colorado Springs, 104-74.
The Pack are 7-0 at home this season and are outscoring opponents 88.0-70.4 in those games. It was the second 100-plus point game at home this season, as CSU-Pueblo ran past Western State Colorado University 103-80, Dec. 17.
The ThunderWolves (11-5, 9-2 RMAC) shot 54.3 percent from the field after hitting on 60 percent of their shots last night. CSU-Pueblo is shooting 50.9 percent this season. The home team also got it done on the defense end and allowed the Mountain Lions (6-10, 5-6 RMAC) to shoot just 32 percent. In the two games, the Pack shot 56 percent and allowed just 34.9 percent.
The Pack scored 58 points in the paint (UCCS had 30) and totaled 21 assists for their second most this season.
CSU-Pueblo also totaled 15 blocks, which is a season-high in the RMAC this season. Leading the charge was senior Nelson Kahler (C, Noosa Heads, Australia), who tied the program record with nine. He entered the weekend leading the RMAC and ranked eighth nationally. After 11 this weekend, Kahler owns 50 blocks in 2016-17. Kahler has swatted 114 shot attempts in his season and a half with the Pack to rank third on the all-time list.
Kahler added 16 points on 7-of-9 (77.8%) shooting from the field. He also totaled six rebounds. He was one of six players in double-figures scoring.
Junior Mark Williams (G, Chino Hills, Calif.) played in three minutes and didn't take a shot in the first half, but in 17 minutes of play in the second, he scored a team-high 17 points on 7-of-12 (58.3%) shooting from the field. He added five rebounds.
Junior Will Newman (G, Hawthorne, Calif.) totaled 16 points, six assists and five rebounds with two steals and a block. He finished the weekend with 13 assists after entering the weekend fourth in the conference in assists per game.
Off the bench, redshirt-freshman Donovan Oldham (G, Colorado Springs, Colo.) had a career night with 15 points, six rebounds and two assists.
Junior Josh Smith (G, Colorado Springs, Colo.) was the first half spark with 10 of his 14 points coming in the opening 20 minutes. He finished with three daggers from downtown and added a career-high six assists with four rebounds and four steals (ties a career high). Twice the junior converted on a rare four-point play, once in each half.
Senior Rico Spikes (G, Merriville, Ind.) had another stat-stuffed effort with 13 points, a game-high nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.
There were four lead changes and five times the score was tied in the first five minutes of the game. With 15:34 on the game clock, a Smith old-fashioned 3-point play gave the Pack a 13-12 lead it wouldn't relinquish.
The lead was three at 24-21 with 11:10 left, but a 9-0 run handed the home team their first double-digit advantage.
The lead went as high as 16 before settling at nine at 50-41 at the end of the first.
CSU-Pueblo won the first seven minutes of the second half 21-8 to open a 71-49 lead. The Pack lead by 19 or more the rest of the way before settling on the 30-point rout, 104-74.
The ThunderWolves have a quick turnaround and will play at Colorado Christian University Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. The contest against the Cougars is set to air live on Comcast CET, channels 105/900 HD. CCU is 8-3 in conference play, one game back of the Pack.
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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