Pack men's hoops travels to battle Orediggers Saturday

Pack men's hoops travels to battle Orediggers Saturday

PUEBLO, Colo. (January 19, 2018) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team (8-10, 5-7 RMAC) travels to Golden, Colorado Saturday to battle Colorado School of Mines (14-3, 8-3 RMAC) in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest beginning at 7 p.m. at Lockridge Arena. The ThunderWolves are looking for their third straight win for the first time this season.


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Last Time Out

The ThunderWolves put a complete team effort into a 96-85 RMAC home victory Tuesday against Colorado Christian.

The ThunderWolves shot 56.5 percent from the field in the win and knocked down 10 3-pointers, five in each half. The Pack played well for the entire 40 minutes, as they held the lead for 36:30 of game clock. CSU-Pueblo piled in 44 points in the paint, totaled 16 points off 15 turnovers and had four players score 15 or more points. 

Center Jason Anderson posted 27 points on 11-of-15 (73.3%) shooting from the field. He added seven rebounds with three blocks in 29 minutes. Senior Will Newman finished the contest with 18 points, nine assists and six rebounds with four steals. Coming off the bench, senior Mark Williams scored 17 points on a 7-of-9 (77.8%) effort from the field. Junior guard Gavin Liggett had the hot hand and hit four 3-pointers and totaled 15 points. 

The Orediggers

The Orediggers are 14-3 overall and 8-3 in RMAC play, but are 3-3 in their last six games. Mines owns the third best scoring margin in the league at +7.9 and are only allowing opponents to average 71.4 points per game. The Orediggers are shooting at a 44.3 percent clip from long range to lead the RMAC and rank 3rd nationally. Mines also leads the league in blocks (4.5, 24th nationally) and fewest turnovers per game (10.8, 20th in Division II). The team's 49 percent from the field is 2nd in the conference. Mines has four players scoring in double figures, guided by Luke Schroepfer's 14.5 points per game. He owns a team-high 42 3-pointers. Ben Sonnefeld adds 12.1 points and a team-best 3.6 assists per game. Michael Glen has totaled 9.0 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game. 

Last Season vs the Orediggers

The ThunderWolves lost 80-58 in the lone meeting with Mines last season. The Pack shot just 38.7 percent from the field, while the Orediggers went off for 55.8 percent shooting. CSU-Pueblo went 5-for-21 from long range in the game. Mark Williams led the team with 13 points and six rebounds. 

Long Range

The ThunderWolves rank 1st in the RMAC and 31st nationally in 3-pointers per game with 9.9 per contest. The 179 daggers from downtown rank 1st in the conference and 26th in Division II. CSU-Pueblo has attempted 482 3-pointers this season, which is the most in the league and 19th in Division II.

Senior Josh Smith is 12th in the RMAC in 3-pointers per game with 2.1. Senior Will Newman has 37 3-pointers to lead the team while Smith's 36 daggers from downtown is second most.

Block Party

With 4.1 blocks per game, the Pack sit 4th in the RMAC, while the 73 total blocks is 3rd in the league and 34th in Division II. Senior Mika Nuolivirta has 26 blocks to rank 2nd in the conference (1.4 bpg is 2nd in the RMAC).  

Thanks for the Charity 

Senior Will Newman has made 92 and attempted 108 free throws this season to rank 2nd and 4th, respectfully, in the RMAC this season. He ranks 24th nationally in free throws made and 43rd in free throws attempted. His 85.2 percentage from the line is 6th in the conference. 

Ball Security

The ThunderWolves average 11.6 turnovers per game, which is the 3rd lowest in the RMAC. 

Leading the Way

Senior Will Newman is 6th in the league in scoring with 16.8 points per game. He sits 3rd in the conference (18th nationally) with 105 assists. His 5.8 assists per game is 2nd in the league and 26th in Division II. The senior's 1.8 assist/turnover ratio is 8th best in the league. With 1.5 steals per game he ranks 4th in the RMAC. His 36:30 minutes per game is 2nd in the conference and 28th nationally. Newman leads the team with 6.2 rebounds per game, which ranks T-12th. 

• Senior Mika Nuolivirta is shooting 55.2 percent from the field to lead the team. 

RMAC Players of the Week

In his first weekend of competition at CSU-Pueblo, Jason Anderson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) earned RMAC Offensive Player of the Week honors Dec. 18. The transfer averaged 26.0 points per game and 8.0 rebounds to lead the Pack to wins over Western State and Colorado Mesa University. Anderson sank 76.7 percent from the field (23-for-30), was 2-of-3 (66.7%) from long range and hit on 4-of-6 (66.7%) from the free throw line. Anderson scored 52 total points and brought down 16 rebounds in just 50 minutes (25 mpg) of work. 

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.  

Newman reaches 1,000 Career Points

Senior Will Newman (Hawthorne, Calif.) became the 22nd student-athlete in program history to score 1,000 career points at CSU-Pueblo when he dropped 14 points against Western State Colorado University. Newman is 17th all-time at CSU-Pueblo with 1,108 career points. He will need to average 12.1 points per game in the final 10 guaranteed games this seaon to crack the all-time top 10 list.

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 105-79 (.571) 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.

Home Cookin'

The ThunderWolves are struggling at home this season with a 4-7 record, but under seventh-year Pack Head Coach Ralph Turner, CSU-Pueblo owns a 56-35 (.615) record at Massari Arena. 

1,000 Career Points Watch

Senior Josh Smith has collected 915 career points, just 85 shy of the milestone. Smith will need to average 8.5 points per game in the remaining guaranteed 10 games to achieve this record.

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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.