Lions buried at Mines

By Doug Fitzgerald published January 8, 2005

GOLDEN, Colo. - When you put one of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference's best shooting teams in the same gym with one of its weakest perimeter defensive teams, the results can be explosive.

Colorado School of Mines , which came into Friday night's game second in the RMAC with a 42.8 shooting percent from 3-point range, defeated the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, which came in next to last in the RMAC allowing treys at a 43 percent clip, 106-72 at Volk Gymnasium.

Predictably, the Orediggers shot 60 percent from the floor, including going 12-of-21 from 3-point range. The also outrebounded the vertically challenged Mountain Lions 43-28. Those numbers might have been even more outlandish had not Mines all but abandoned the long ball in the final 10 minutes.

"We played really hard," said forward Jim Pecic. "When you face great players, though, sometimes effort by itself isn't enough."

Mines opened with a barrage of 3-pointers. Stephen Bahl hit all three of his first-half attempts and, before anybody had really even worked up a sweat, the Mountain Lions trailed 29-9.

CU-Colorado Springs (0-11, 0-5 RMAC) battled back, cutting the lead to eight on two occasions, before heading into the locker room with a 49-39 halftime deficit. In the half, Mines went 19-of-31 from the field, including 7-of-10 from 3-point range.

Mines opened the second half with consecutive (what else?) 3-pointers to extend the lead to 16. CU-Colorado Springs never got closer than 14 after that.

Bahl led Mines (10-3, 4-1 RMAC) with 30 points on 10-of 14 shooting. Ben Mohr, a freshman from Colorado Springs, added 17 on 8-of-9 shooting, while another Colorado Springs product, Kevin Wagstaff, had 16.

As has been the trend this season, the shorthanded Mountain Lions faded badly in the second half as fatigue took its toll on the depleted rotation. CU-Colorado Springs was outscored 34-19 over the final 10 minutes as the Mountain Lions got increasingly sloppy with the ball.

"It's really tough, especially with so few big men," said Pecic. "Neither Chris (Johnson) nor I break 200 pounds by very much and it's awfully hard to cover those big guys."

Pecic led CU-Colorado Springs with 20 points and nine rebounds. Torrey Phillips added 15 points and Trey White had 12.

"We're a team that never quits and we'll play as hard as we can for as long as we can," said Pecic. "When you fall so far behind, it takes even more energy to catch up. It's like running uphill."


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