PUEBLO, Colo. (November 16, 2017) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team will remain at home Nov. 17-18 when it hosts the 34th Annual Al Kaly Classic at Massari Arena. The ThunderWolves will play at 7 p.m. both days.
LAST TIME OUT
The Pack are coming off a 1-1 start to the season when it hosted the Conference Challenge Nov. 10-11. CSU-Pueblo downed Rogers State University 84-65 before falling the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith by the score of 86-83.
Six different players knocked down a 3-pointer for the ThunderWolves in the win against Rogers, as the Pack totaled 15 3-pointers, guided by five from senior Josh Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo.). As a team the Pack shot 54.5 percent from the field and 53.6 percent from long range. The ThunderWolves also won the rebounding battle 35-31 and totaled seven blocks. CSU-Pueblo had four true freshman, a redshirt-freshman and senior newcomer contribute to the win.
It was a bit of a revenge game for the ThunderWovles, as the Pack lost last year's season opener at Rogers State, 85-82.
Senior Will Newman (Hawthorne, Calif.) guided the Pack with 20 points on 5-of-7 (71.4%) shooting from the field and a perfect effort from long range (2-of-2) and from the charity stripe (8-for-8). He added six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block.
Smith finished 19 points on 7-of-11 (63.6%) shooting from the field and pulled down five rebounds. Sophomore Donovan Oldham (Colorado Springs, Colo.) recorded 16 points and nine rebounds with four assists. He knocked down four 3-pointers.
Guard BJ Hardy (Colorado Springs, Colo.) hit eight 3-pointers and scored 28 points in just his second collegiate game, but it wasn't enough, as UA-Fort Smith defeated the ThunderWolves 86-83 Saturday.
The Pack led 44-43 at the break, but the Lions shot 59.3 percent and hit five 3-pointers in the second half to push a lead as high 13 before Hardy led a comeback.
He scored 20 points in the second half, 14 in the final 5:46, which included a rare four-point play. CSU-Pueblo was down two, 85-83 with 14 seconds left and UAFS hit one of two free throws, giving Hardy one more shot, but it didn't go and the Pack fell by three.
The eight 3-pointers is two shy of the program record.
The Pack shot 37.5 percent from the floor and from 3-point land, hitting on 15 daggers from downtown. The Lions finished shooting 50.8 percent, getting half their points in the paint (46). The road team also dominated the boards with 51 (13 offensive to score 19 second chance points), while the Pack totaled just 28.
SCOUTING TEXAS A&M KINGSVILLE
The Javelinas are 3-0 to start the season with home wins against RMAC foes South Dakota Mines (71-53) and Chadron State (95-63). They earned a 60-53 win against St. Mary's (Texas) on Tuesday. Texas A&M Kingsville is averaging 75.3 points per game and allowing 56.3 points per contest. The Javelinas have recorded an 11.0 turnover margin and are averaging 11.3 steals per game. Texas A&M Kingsville was picked to finish fifth in the Lone Star Conference.
CSU-Pueblo last played the Javelinas Nov. 28, 2015 and lost in a neutral site contest, 72-69 in overtime.
SCOUTING WEST TEXAS A&M
The Buffs are 2-0 with a pair of home wins against RMAC competition. WT defeated Adams State 90-69 and Western State 83-63. The Buffs knocked down 23 3-pointers in the two wins, while allowing their opponent to total just 11. WT was stronger in the second half, as they averaged 49 points in the second 20 compared to 37.5 in the first half. The Buffs were picked to finish second in the Lone Star Conference and are ranked No. 21 in the preseason National Association of Basketball Coaches Top 25 (NABC).
WT downed CSU-Pueblo 82-66 in the last meeting in Canyon on Nov. 22, 2014.
CSU-Pueblo totaled 30 3-pointers in the first two games after averaging 8.6 per game last season. The 15 3-pointers per game ranks fourth nationally in this early season. Hardy not only has 10 3-pointers (5.0 per game ranks 8th in Division II), but is shooting at a 71.4 percent clip (11th nationally).
With the 84-65 victory against Rogers State, Head Coach Ralph Turner reached 100 wins as the CSU-Pueblo bench boss. He owns a 100-71 (.585) record with the ThunderWolves.
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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.