Pack host Westminster Saturday in hopes of snapping losing skid

Pack host Westminster Saturday in hopes of snapping losing skid

PUEBLO, Colo. (February 9, 2018) - The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team (10-14, 7-11 RMAC) hosts Westminster College (19-3, 15-3 RMAC) in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest Saturday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.

The ThunderWolves are tied for 10th in the league standings at 7-11, but are just a game and a half out of the final spot in the RMAC Shootout.

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Last Time Out

Leading 79-77 with one minute left, CSU-Pueblo could not close out New Mexico Highlands, as the Cowboys bested the ThunderWolves 83-81 on the road Tuesday.

Will Newman (Sr., Hawthorne, Calif.) poured in a career-high 33 points. Newman swished 12-of-12 at the free throw line and 9-of-16 from the field. He sank three 3-pointers. Defensively, Newman hauled in five rebounds and collected three steals.

Jason Anderson (R-So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) narrowly missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. Anderson blocked a season-high four shots. The Pack swatted seven shots and the Cowboys did not have a block.

Senior Josh Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored 10 points and hit three 3-pointers. Smith was an iron man, playing all 40 minutes. He had four rebounds, a steal, and a block.

CSU-Pueblo sank 15-of-16 from the free throw line. Highlands only made 5-of-14 at the charity stripe. 

The Griffins

The Griffins are on a three game win streak and are 10-1 in 2018. Westminster owns a 19-3 overall record with a 15-3 mark in league play to sit just a half game out of first, although, WC is not eligible for postseason play due to its final year of its transition from NAIA. WC has the best scoring defense in the league, allowing just 66.6 points per game They are scoring 76.9 points per game to own the second best scoring margin at +10.3. The Griffins are second in field goal percentage (49.3%) and field goal percentage defense (42.2%). The team also leads the RMAC in assist/turnover ratio at 1.55. Dayon Goodman leads the RMAC with 27 points per game, sits second in the conference with 8.5 rebounds per contest and is fourth with a 55.2 field goal percentage. 

Last Time vs the Griffins

The ThunderWolves lost 81-70 in Salt Lake City Dec. 8. The Pack shot just 26.9 percent from the field in the opening half to trail by seven and just couldn't recover in the second half, despite shooting 58.3 percent from the field and hitting six of their 10 3-pointers. Five players scored in double figures for the Pack, but no one had more than 12. 

Long Range

The ThunderWolves rank 1st in the RMAC and 25th nationally in 3-pointers per game with 10.1 per contest. The 243 daggers from downtown rank 1st in the conference and 21st in Division II. CSU-Pueblo has attempted 646 3-pointers this season, which is the most in the league and 23rd in Division II. CSU-Pueblo owns a 37.6 percentage from beyond the arc to rank 9th in the RMAC.

Senior Will Newman has 55 3-pointers to lead the team and rank 6th in the RMAC. Senior Josh Smith's 47 daggers from downtown is second most on the team is and 13th in the league. 

Thanks for the Charity 

Senior Will Newman has made 117 and attempted 135 free throws this season to rank 2nd (28th nationally) and 5th, respectfully, in the RMAC this season. His 86.7 percentage from the line is 5th in the conference. 

Ball Security

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

I'll Take That

The ThunderWolves ranks 3rd in the conference in steals per game with 6.4 and are 2nd in the RMAC with 154 total steals. With 1.7 steals per game senior Will Newman ranks 2nd in the RMAC. The 41 total takeaways is 1st. Senior Josh Smith adds 32 steals (7th in the RMAC) for 1.4 steals per game that sits 6th in the conference. 

Block Party

With 4.1 blocks per game, the Pack sit 5th in the RMAC, while the 99 total blocks is 4th in the league. Senior Mika Nuolivirta has 30 blocks to rank 5th in the conference (1.3 bpg is 5th in the RMAC). 

Leading the Way

Senior Will Newman is 5th in the league in scoring with 17.3 points per game. He sits 3rd in the conference (23rd nationally) with 131 assists. His 5.5 assists per game is 3rd in the league and 34th in Division II. The senior's 1.9 assist/turnover ratio is 7th best in the league. His 35:25 minutes per game is 2nd in the conference.

Sophomore Jason Anderson has the team lead with 6.6 rebounds per game, which would rank 11th in the league if he met the minimum requirements. 

Seniors Mark Williams and Mika Nuolivirta are both shooting above 53 percent. Williams owns a 59.3 percentage, while Nuolivirta is shooting 53.6 percent from the field. Neither one of them meet the minimum requirement (Min FGM/G of 5.0) to be listed in the league 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 13th all-time at CSU-Pueblo with 1,219 career points. He is just 11 points shy of cracking the school's all-time top 10 scoring list.

Newman's 394 career assists ranks tied for 4th all-time. He is 49 assists shy of the record of 443, held by Tony White (1977-80).

Newman owns a 80.7 percentage at the free throw line in his career to rank second all-time at CSU-Pueblo He is 297-of-368 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 107-83 (.563) 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 959 career points, just 41 shy of the 1,000 point milestone. Smith will need to average 10.3 points per game in the remaining guaranteed four games to achieve this record.

With 228 career 3-pointers made, Smith ranks sixth all-time at CSU-Pueblo, two shy of cracking the top five. His 3.2 3-pointers made per game ranks second all-time. 

His 150 career steals is sixth 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.