Unselfish play lifts Pack to 97-81 victory against Cowboys

Unselfish play lifts Pack to 97-81 victory against Cowboys

PUEBLO, Colo. (February 7, 2017) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team dished out 25 assists in a 97-81 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference home victory against New Mexico Highlands University, Tuesday at Massari Arena.

The ThunderWolves (16-7, 14-4 RMAC) shot 56.9 percent from the field, which included a 64.5 percent effort in the second half where they outscored the Cowboys (9-14, 7-11 RMAC) by 15 points. The Pack totaled 52 points in the paint and allowed 38, 22 of which was in the first half.

Five players scored in double figures, guided by senior center Nelson Kahler's (Noosa Heads, Australia) season-high 26. He was 9-for-11 (81.8%) from the field and hit 8-of-9 from the free throw line. He also added eight rebounds, five blocks and four assists with a steal.

Senior guard Rico Spikes (Merriville, Ind.) also blew up the stat sheet, as he fell just one rebound shy of a triple-double. He totaled 15 points, a career-high 10 assists and nine rebounds.

Junior Mark Williams (F, Chino Hills, Calif.) went 8-for-9 (88.9%) from the field and totaled 17 points in just 21 minutes off the bench. Donovan Oldham (G, Colorado Springs, Colo.) added 11 points and five rebounds off the bench.

Guard Gavin Liggett (So., Limon, Colo.) hit two of the Pack's seven 3-pointers and totaled 10 points.

The Pack allowed a lot of easy buckets in the first half and at the break led by just one at 42-41. The second half was all CSU-Pueblo, as the home team led 59-49 six minutes into the frame. Four different players scored during the 17-8 start to the fresh 20 minutes.

The ThunderWolves lead was seven at 65-58 at the midway point of the half, but again the Pack responded with a 16-5 run during the next three minutes of game clock to put the visitor's away for good. Kahler scored 10 points during the run.

The Pack recorded the 16-point win to improve to 10-1 this season when the margin of victory is 11 points or greater.

The 16 victories this season matches last year's win total and ties for the second most under sixth-year head coach Ralph Turner. CSU-Pueblo totaled 21 wins in 2014-15. The 14 RMAC victories is also tied for second under Turner, as the Pack totaled 14 in 2012-13 before posting a 16-6 record in 2014-15.

The next test is Friday at Westminster College, who is 13-4 in league play to sit fourth. Game time from Salt Lake City, Utah is set for 7:30 p.m.

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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.