Pack men host Skyhawks and Grizzlies to lift lid on RMAC slate Dec. 1-2

Pack men host Skyhawks and Grizzlies to lift lid on RMAC slate Dec. 1-2

PUEBLO, Colo. (November 30, 2017) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team (3-3, 0-0 RMAC) opens the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference schedule Dec. 1-2 with both games slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday, No. 19 Fort Lewis College (3-1, 0-0 RMAC) enters Massari Arena, while Saturday the ThunderWolves will host Adams State University (2-4, 0-0 RMAC).

Promotions

Friday - CSU-Pueblo Alumni Foundation Alumni Night - $1 off admission for alum
- Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest

Saturday - Youth Basketball Night - All youth 14 and under are FREE

LIVE STATS vs FLC
LIVE STATS vs ASU

LIVE AUDIO vs ASU (1350 AM Fox Sports Pueblo)

LIVE VIDEO (Both Games)

Last Time Out

Sophomore Donovan Oldham lifted the Pack to a 90-79 home victory against Johnson & Wales University Monday at Massari Arena to close the regular season 3-3.

In addition to a career-high 27 points, Oldham gathered a career-best 17 rebounds for the first double-double of his young career. Senior Mika Nuolivirta just missed a double-double with 17 points and eight rebounds. He also recorded four blocked shots. Senior Will Newman totaled 20 points, seven assists and five rebounds.  

The Pack shot 45.9 percent and allowed JWU to hit on just 37.5 percent from field in the second half and 39.0 percent in the game. CSU-Pueblo couldn't find its rhythm from long range, but knocked down 26-of-29 (89.7%) from the free throw line to ensure the victory. The Pack attempted 21 of those shots form the charity stripe in the second half.

The Skyhawks

The Skyhawks rank No. 19 in the NABC poll and own a 3-1 record. FLC lost the first game of the season, a 73-72 setback to Eastern New Mexico, but have won the last three. Fort Lewis last defeated Johnson and Whales 96-66. Last season FLC went 26-7 overall and 18-4 in RMAC play. Leading the way this season is Rasmus Bach with 16.5 points and 5.3 assists per game. Three others are averaging 10 or more points per game, including Marquel Beasley, who adds 13.5 points and a team-best 8.8 rebounds per contest. 

Last Season vs the Skyhawks

The Pack finished 0-2 against FLC last season, but forced overtime (105-97) in the RMAC opener in Durango. The ThunderWolves fell 84-75 at home last February. CSU-Pueblo went 4-for-24 in that home loss.

The Grizzlies

The Grizzlies lost the first four games to Texas schools, then flew out to Hawaii and picked up two wins against California, Dominguez Hills (83-82) and Hawaii Pacific (82-80). The Grizzlies also battled Division I University of Hawaii in an exhibition and lost 87-77. Adams State is guided by Brandon Sly, who averages 19.5 points and 5.8 assists per game. Shane Johnson has posted 18.8 points per game, while Frederick Jackson adds 10.8 points and a team-high 8.2 rebounds per game. 

Last Season vs the Grizzlies

The ThunderWolves were 2-0 against the Grizzlies last season with an 80-75 road win early in the season and an 83-59 home victory to begin February. The Pack shot 52.6 percent from the field in the home win. 

Long Range

The ThunderWolves rank 1st in the RMAC and 17th nationally in 3-pointers per game with 11.7 per contest. The 70 daggers from downtown rank 2nd in the conference and 31st in Division II. The team's 41.4 percent is the 2nd best in the RMAC and sits 41st nationally. 

Senior Josh Smith is 4th in the RMAC in 3-pointers made with 16 and is 2nd in the conference with a 50 percentage from long range. Redshirt-freshman BJ Hardy is also shooting 50 percent from downtown.

Block Party

With 5.2 blocks per game, the Pack sit 2nd in the RMAC and 18th nationally, while the 31 total blocks is 2nd in the league and 25th in Division II. Senior Mika Nuolivirta has 11 blocks to rank 4th in the conference, while Sophomore Donovan Oldham and senior Will Newman are tied for 8th with seven rejections.

RMAC Player of the Week

Senior Will Newman earned his first-career RMAC Defensive Player of the Week award Nov. 27 after a strong performance against UCCS. He totaled 25 points and eight rebounds, seven defensive. He knocked down 9-of-11 from the field and a pair of 3-pointers, going a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. The senior added a blocked shot, steal and five assists.  

Home Cookin'

The ThunderWolves are 2-3  at home this season and under seventh-year Pack Head Coach Ralph Turner, CSU-Pueblo owns a 54-31 (.635) home record. 

Leading the Way

• Senior Will Newman is 3rd in the league in scoring with 18.0 points per game. He sits 4th in the conference with 34 assists, while his 5.7 assists per game also ranks 4th in the league. He is 2nd in the conference in free throws attempted (51, 25th nationally) and made (43, 14th nationally). 

• Sophomore Donovan Oldham is 4th in the RMAC in rebounds per game with 8.3, while his 17.2 points per game is 8th in the league.

• Senior Josh Smith is shooting 59.6 percent from the field to rank 2nd in the RMAC. 

Coaching Milestone

Head Coach Ralph Turner earned win number 100 as the CSU-Pueblo bench boss with an 84-65 home win against Rogers State to start the season Nov. 10. As the CSU-Pueblo head coach, he owns an 102-73 (.583) record in seven seasons. He owns the third most wins in ThunderWolves men's basketball history. 

The Dec. 30, 2016 win against Black Hills State was the 450th in his storied men's basketball collegiate head coaching career that spans 22 seasons.

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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.