Mountain Lions can't hold lead

By Doug Fitzgerald published January 25, 2005

Freshman Matt Cordova scored a career-high 18 points as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs built its largest lead of the season but was unable to sustain it in an 80-73 loss to the New Mexico Highlands Cowboys Tuesday night at Las Vegas, N.M.

The Mountain Lions trailed 21-12 with 12:16 left in the first half when a Jim Pecic layup and a pair of free throws by Stephon Hicks cut the lead to five. Highlands answered with a free throw before Hicks, Zach Wheat and Torrey Phillips hit 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions to give CU-Colorado Springs a 25-22 lead.

Robert Franklin cut the lead to one before Cordova went nuts. The freshman from Doherty high school hit a 3-pointer, then stole the ball and fed it to Dan Deveau, who was fouled. After Deveau made a pair of free throws, Cordova made another steal and was fouled. He made both free throws.

The 20-3 run gave CU-Colorado Springs and eight-point lead. The Cowboys managed to chip away at it, closing to within one (37-36). Phillips scored seven points over the final three minutes to give the Mountain Lions a season-high 51-42 lead at halftime.

Four CU-Colorado Springs turnovers to start the second half helped Highlands tie the game at 55 with 16:11 remaining. The momentum swung back and forth over the next 12 minutes, with neither team able to build more than a five-point lead. The Mountain Lions, though, made only one of their final seven shots as Highlands pulled away late.

CU-Colorado Springs shot just 25.9 percent in the second half.

Franklin was unstoppable for New Mexico Highlands (4-13, 3-7 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) with 32 points, 15 rebounds five steals and four assists. Tim Thompson added 12 points and Matt Howell had 10. Jeremy Soria grabbed 10 rebounds for the Cowboys, who outrebounded the Mountain Lions 55-33.

Phillips had 13 points and six assists for CU-Colorado Springs (0-16, 0-10 RMAC). Pecic added 12 points and Hicks had 11. Adam Kemp grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Dan DeveauDan Deveau11FFr.
Dan DeveauDan Deveau22FSo.
Dan DeveauDan Deveau22FJr.
Dan DeveauDan Deveau22FSr.
Jim PecicJim Pecic32FJr.
Jim PecicJim Pecic20FJr.
Jim PecicJim Pecic20FSr.
Stephon HicksStephon Hicks40G/FSr.
Matt CordovaMatt Cordova15G/FFr.
Matt CordovaMatt Cordova15G/FFr.
Torrey PhillipsTorrey Phillips5GSo.
Adam KempAdam Kemp25F
Adam KempAdam Kemp25F
Zach WheatZach WheatF/G
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