Mountain Lions drop season opener
RENO, Nev. - David slew Goliath with a stone, the story says. The problem with collegiate basketball though, is that there are no stones in a modern arena - though there are often a few stoners in the Bob Uecker seats. That lack of missiles puts David at a distinct disadvantage.
The Division II University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was defeated 88-33 by the Nevada Wolf Pack Saturday in the season opener for both teams. That's the same Nevada Wolf Pack that advanced to the NCAA Division I Sweet 16 last season, and would have made the Elite 8 were it not for a buzzer-beater by Georgia Tech.
The game was the opener of the Jim Thorpe Classic. CU-Colorado Springs will face the loser of the Southern Mississippi-Georgia State game - which will be played later tonight - in Sunday's consolation game. Nevada will face the winner in the title game.
Nick Fazekas scored 21 of his game-high 27 points in the first half as the Wolf Pack built a 42-12 lead by outshooting CU-Colorado Springs 55.6 percent to 20 percent. Nevada opened the second half in even more dominating fashion with a 24-2 run.
"(Kevinn) Pinkney and Fazekas both have a chance to be All-American and it showed," said CU-Colorado Springs coach Lance Hammond. "We couldn't keep them away from the basket and Fazekas just shot the lights out."
Fazekas, who graduated from Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colo., made 11 of his 14 field goal attempts including 3-for-4 from 3-point range.
"(Fazekas is) a Colorado kid," said Hammond. "I think he saw the "Colorado" on the jerseys and got excited."
Then, unexpectedly, the Mountain Lions found something that had been missing. Devin Martin knocked muscled his way inside for a score. Stephon Hicks followed with a pair of jumpers, one from 3-point range. Defensively, CU-Colorado Springs started making the Wolf Pack work for their shots.
Nevada managed only a 22-19 advantage over the final 13:53.
Torrey Phillips led CU-Colorado Springs with eight points, while Martin added seven points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Nevada outrebounded CU-Colorado Springs 47-30, but held only a 17-15 advantage on the offensive glass.
"They had a 17-rebound advantage, but that was mostly because we shot so poorly," said Hammond. "I was pleased with our offensive rebounding. They only beat us by two and that's been a big problem for us. To only give up 17 second shots against a team like this says a lot about the effort the kids put in."
The Mountain Lions forced 20 turnovers, but tainted that stats by committing 31 of their own.
"We've got to do a better job of taking care of the basketball," said Hammond. "We've got some problems to address and we'll do that."
When that happens, Goliath might be in trouble.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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