ThunderWolves take to the road for important RMAC contests Feb. 2-3

ThunderWolves take to the road for important RMAC contests Feb. 2-3

PUEBLO, Colo. (February 1, 2018) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team (10-11, 7-8 RMAC) hits the road for a pair of Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contests Feb. 2-3, as the ThunderWolves travel to Adams State University (11-10, 9-6 RMAC) and No. 17 Fort Lewis College (17-3, 13-3 RMAC). 

LIVE STATS at Adams State
LIVE STATS at Fort Lewis

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Last Time Out

The ThunderWolves produced their best defensive effort of the season in a 82-49 RMAC home win Friday. The victory made four straight for the ThunderWolves.

In addition to holding Chadron State to 49 points (the lowest an opponent has scored against the Pack this season), CSC shot just 27 percent from the field (again the lowest by an opponent this season). On the offensive side, the ThunderWolves knocked down a cool 55.6 percent of their shots from the field, the team's seventh game shooting above .500. CSU-Pueblo was 14-for-16 (87.5%) from the charity stripe. 

The Pack totaled 44 points in the paint and allowed just 26. The home team produced 16 CSC turnovers and converted them into 28 points. 

Donovan Oldham was 5-for-6 (83.3%) from the field, 2-for-3 (66.7%) from long range and was 4-of-4 from the free throw line to total 16 points. A total of five players were in double-figures, as Jason Anderson totaled 10 points and seven rebounds with two blocks and two steals. Will Newman  added 10 points, four rebounds and three assists. 

The ThunderWolves fell short in a comeback effort in the 64-63 loss to Regis Saturday.

Trailing by 16 at the break, the Pack only allowed the Rangers to score 22 points in the final 20 minutes, but couldn't find enough offensive muster of their own to complete the comeback. CSU-Pueblo never led in the game, but trailed by just two at 62-60 with 3:38 remaining after at Newman 3-pointer. RU responded with a layup on the other end with 3:28 left, but that would be the final point the road team would manage. A Josh Smith layup with 1:51 remaining closed the gap to just two at 64-62.

CSU-Pueblo had two opportunities to tie the game or take a lead, but turned the ball over on both attempts. Finally with 11 seconds left, Newman was fouled on his way to the basket to put him at the line. He entered the game shooting 85.3 percent from the line, but after making the first he missed the second and the Rangers came down with the ball. The ThunderWolves got another break when Regis missed the first free throw of a one-and-one and the Pack had another chance with eight ticks left. Newman brought the ball down the floor, but had to settle for a long jumper, which was blocked as time expired on the clock and the hopes of another second half comeback.

The Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are 11-10 overall and 9-6 in RMAC play to rank sixth in the league standings. ASU is 3-2 in its last five games, four of which came on the road. Adams State is 5-2 at home in 2017-18, which includes a 60-54 win against Colorado Mines Jan. 27. ASU leads the nation in free throws made (423) and free throws attempted (607) this season. The Grizzlies lead the league in total rebounds and total steals and has the second best scoring offense at 82.9 points per game. The team has four players scoring in double figures with Shane Johnson leading the way with 17.8 points per game. Brandon Sly adds 17.4 points and a team-high 5.3 assists per game. Jarrett Givens has totaled a team-best 46 3-pointers and is averaging 12.7 points per game.  

Last Time vs the Grizzlies

At Massari Arena in December, the Grizzlies shot 55 percent from the field to record a 92-84 victory. ASU was ahead by 12 at the half and then held off a Pack team that hit nine 3-pointers in the final 20 minutes. Both Will Newman and Donovan Oldham totaled 22 points and combined for 12 rebounds, nine assists and four steals. 

The Skyhawks

The Skyhawks lead the RMAC with a 13-2 record and are No. 17 nationally with an overall mark of 17-3. Fort Lewis is winners of four straight games, which is tied for the best current streak in the league. FLC is 11-0 at home this season and are 42-1 in the last three seasons at Whalen Gymnasium. The Skyhawks lead the RMAC in field goal percentage (10th nationally, 50.4%), scoring margin (25th, 12.2 ppg), scoring offense (20th, 87.4 ppg), turnover margin (1.5 topg) and rebounding margin (4.6 rpg). Five players are scoring in double figures, guided by Rasmus Bach's 15.1 points per game. He also leads the team with 4.1 assists per game, all while pulling down 5.1 rebounds per contest. Marquel Beasley totals 14 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. 

Last Time vs the Skyhawks

The Skyhawks visited Massari Arena in December and recorded a 85-69 victory against the ThunderWolves. FLC held the Pack to 25.9 percent shooting from long range and pulled down 11 more rebounds. Mark Williams came off the bench to post a team-high 20 points. Josh Smith had 16 points, which included four of the team's seven 3-pointers in the game.  

Long Range

The ThunderWolves rank 1st in the RMAC and 27th nationally in 3-pointers per game with 10.0 per contest. The 210 daggers from downtown rank 2nd in the conference and 26th in Division II. CSU-Pueblo has attempted 561 3-pointers this season, which is the second most in the league and 25th in Division II. CSU-Pueblo owns a 37.4 percentage from beyond the arc to rank 7th in the RMAC.

Senior Will Newman has 44 3-pointers to lead the team and rank T-12th in the RMAC. Senior Josh Smith's 41 daggers from downtown is second most on the team is and T-14th in the league.

Block Party

With 4.1 blocks per game, the Pack sit 4th in the RMAC, while the 86 total blocks is 5th in the league. Senior Mika Nuolivirta has 29 blocks to rank 2nd in the conference (1.4 bpg is 2nd in the RMAC).  

Thanks for the Charity 

Senior Will Newman has made 103 and attempted 121 free throws this season to rank 3rd and 6th, respectfully, in the RMAC this season. He ranks 29th nationally in free throws made. His 85.1 percentage from the line is 6th in the conference. 

Ball Security

The ThunderWolves average 11.5 turnovers per game, which is the 4th lowest in the RMAC. 

Leading the Way

Senior Will Newman is 7th in the league in scoring with 16.8 points per game. He sits 3rd in the conference (23rd nationally) with 118 assists. His 5.6 assists per game is 2nd in the league and 31st in Division II. The senior's 1.8 assist/turnover ratio is 8th best in the league. With 1.7 steals per game he ranks 2nd in the RMAC. The 36 total takeaways is 4th. His 36:05 minutes per game is 2nd in the conference and sits 39th nationally.

Sophomore Jason Anderson has the team lead with 6.5 rebounds per game, which would rank T-11th in the league if he met the minimum requirements. 

• Senior Mark Williams, senior Mika Nuolivirta and Anderson are all shooting above 52 percent. Williams owns a 58.2 percentage, while Anderson is at 55.5 percent and Nuolivirta is shooting 52.9 percent from the field. None of them meet the minimum requirement (Min FGM/G of 5.0) to be listed in the rankings.

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 16th all-time at CSU-Pueblo with 1,158 career points. He will need to average 10.1 points per game in the final seven guaranteed games this season to crack the all-time top 10 list.

Newman's 381 career assists ranks sixth all-time. He is nine helpers shy of cracking the top five. He is 62 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 283-of-354 in four seasons. 

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 107-80 (.572) 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 5-8 record, but under seventh-year Pack Head Coach Ralph Turner, CSU-Pueblo owns a 57-36 (.613) record at Massari Arena. 

1,000 Career Points Watch

Senior Josh Smith has collected 936 career points, just 64 shy of the 1,000 point milestone. Smith will need to average 9.1 points per game in the remaining guaranteed seven games to achieve this record.

With 222 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.