PUEBLO, Colo. (January 25, 2018) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team (9-10, 6-7 RMAC) rides a three-game winning streak into a home Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference weekend Jan. 26-27. The ThunderWolves welcome Chadron State College (3-16, 1-12 RMAC) and Regis University (13-5, 7-5 RMAC).
Last Time Out
The ThunderWolves erased a 17-point halftime deficit with 13 3-pointers in the second half to earn an 83-79 RMAC road win at Colorado School of Mines Saturday in Golden, Colorado.
The Pack won their third straight game for the first time in this up-and-down season. CSU-Pueblo was riding a down wave in the first half against the Orediggers and shot just 23.7 percent to trail 41-24. The second half was a major upswing, as the road team shot 56.3 percent from the field and hit 13-of-17 (76.5%) attempts from long range to clear the deficit and post the four-point win. The ThunderWolves finished the game shooting 57.7 percent from 3-point land.
CSU-Pueblo entered the game ranked first in the conference and 31st nationally in 3-pointers made per game (9.9 3's per game), while the 15 daggers from downtown was the most in league play this season and the fourth time in 2017-18 the Pack have hit 15 or more shots from downtown.
Not one player can be credited for the comeback, as two players hit four 3-pointers in the final 20 minutes, one had three and another had two. Senior Will Newman (G, Hawthorne, Calif.) was 4-for-4 in the second half from long range, which included the go-ahead-for-good shot from downtown to put the Pack in the 79-77 lead with 1:44 remaining. The shot came just 40 seconds after junior Gavin Liggett (G, Limon, Colo.) hit his fourth 3-pointer of the half to get the ThunderWolves within one. CSU-Pueblo produced a defensive stop after Newman's bucket and then center Jason Anderson (R-So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) gathered his game-high 21st and 22nd points of the evening on a layup to give the Pack a two-possession lead with 1:07 remaining.
The Eagles are 3-16 overall with a 1-12 RMAC record. Chadron State has lost 11 straight games and are 1-9 on the road this season. CSC is last in the league in scoring with 66.1 points per game and are also at the bottom in field goal percentage at 41.6 percent. Two players are scoring in double figures, as Dru Kuxhausen and Jaisean Jackson each own 12.9 points per game. Kuxhausen leads the team with 30 3-pointers, while Jackson has a team-high 53 assists. Jeremy Ruffin owns 9.6 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds per game.
Last Season vs the Eagles
In the lone meeting with the Eagles, the ThunderWolves travled to Chadron and won 85-55. Mark Williams dropped 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field.
The Rangers are 13-5 overall and 7-5 in league play to sit sixth in the conference standings. RU averages 83.3 points (2nd best in the league) and allows 76.7 points per game for a +6.6 scoring average that is fourth in the RMAC. Regis leads the league in steals per game with 7.2 and are second (22nd nationally) in blocks with 4.6 rejections per contest. Four players are averaging 13.6 points per game or better with Christian Little leading the way with 15 points per game. He also leads the team in assists (3.0 apg) and is the RMAC leader in steals (1.8 spg). Jarrett Brodbeck adds 14.9 points per game with a team-high 53 3-pointers (2nd in the RMAC). Dexter Sienko has 14.9 points per contest and a league-best 42 blocks. Finally, Ty McGee totals 13.6 points per game.
Last Season vs the Rangers
On the road and trailing by three at the half, CSU-Pueblo scored 51 points in the second frame to defeat Regis 87-81. The Pack shot 49 percent from the field and hit 10-of-18 (55.6%) from long range in the game. Will Newman scored 21 points and added six rebounds and six assists. Gavin Liggett knocked down six 3-pointers in the win (five in the second half) to contribute 18 points.
The ThunderWolves rank 1st in the RMAC and 26th nationally in 3-pointers per game with 10.2 per contest. The 194 daggers from downtown rank 1st in the conference and 24th in Division II. CSU-Pueblo has attempted 508 3-pointers this season, which is the second most in the league and 30th in Division II. CSU-Pueblo owns a 38.2 percentage from beyond the arc to rank 5th in the RMAC.
With 4.1 blocks per game, the Pack sit 4th in the RMAC, while the 77 total blocks is 5th in the league. Senior Mika Nuolivirta has 26 blocks to rank 4th in the conference (1.4 bpg is 2nd in the RMAC).
Thanks for the Charity
Senior Will Newman has made 95 and attempted 111 free throws this season to rank 4th and 5th, respectfully, in the RMAC this season. He ranks 34th nationally in free throws made. His 85.6 percentage from the line is 5th in the conference.
The ThunderWolves average 11.2 turnovers per game, which is the 3rd lowest in the RMAC and sits 29th nationally.
Leading the Way
Senior Will Newman is 7th in the league in scoring with 16.9 points per game. He sits 3rd in the conference (22nd nationally) with 111 assists. His 5.8 assists per game is 2nd in the league and 24th in Division II. The senior's 2.0 assist/turnover ratio is 6th best in the league. With 1.7 steals per game he ranks 2nd in the RMAC. The 33 total takeaways are also second. His 36:41 minutes per game leads the conference and sits 24th nationally.
Newman and sophomore Jason Anderson are tied for the team lead with 6.3 rebounds per game, which ranks T-14th in the league.
• Senior Mark Williams, senior Mika Nuolivirta and Anderson are all shooting above 53 percent. Williams owns a 59.1 percentage, while Anderson is at 55.7 percent and Nuolivirta is shooting 53.1 percent from the field.
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; Climbing the All-Time Charts in Points, Assists and Free Throw Percentage
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 1,127 career points. He will need to average 11.3 points per game in the final 9 guaranteed games this seaon to crack the all-time top 10 list.
Newman's 374 career assists ranks sixth all-time. He is 13 helps shy of cracking the top five. He is 69 assists shy of the record of 443, held by Tony White (1977-80).
Newman owns a 79.9 percentage at the free throw line in his career to rank second all-time at CSU-Pueblo He is 275-of-344 in four seasons.
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 106-79 (.573) 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.
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 920 career points, just 80 shy of the milestone. Smith will need to average 8.9 points per game in the remaining guaranteed 9 games to achieve this record.
With 218 career 3-pointers made, Smith ranks sixth all-time at CSU-Pueblo.
His 141 career steals is eighth all-time.
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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.