Lions lose heartbreaker
In the end, even a clutch shot, multiple career highs and a 36-minute lead were not enough to earn the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's basketball team it first win of the season.
Michael Reich hit running jumper as time expired to give the Colorado College Tigers an 84-82 victory over the Mountain Lions Tuesday night at the Lions' Den.
CU-Colorado Springs tied the score at 82 on a Matt Cordova 3-pointer from the top of the key with 34 seconds remaining. It was potentially the biggest clutch shot in a season that has been sadly devoid of them.
But Cordova's shot was trumped by an even bigger one. Reich held the ball near midcourt until the clock wound down to 10 seconds then drove hard to his right. He was stopped momentarily by Cordova, but Reich hesitated, put his head down and drove hard to the baseline. His off-balance 10-footer hit high off the glass and went in.
Jim Pecic and Dan Deveau both put up career numbers for CU-Colorado Springs (0-18). Pecic had a career-high 34 points and also pulled down 12 rebounds. Deveau did a little of everything, with 17 points, nine rebounds, six assists, five blocks and four steals. The assists, blocks and steals numbers were all career highs.
In addition, CU-Colorado Springs led or was tied for all but 65 seconds of the game's first 37 minutes, 18 seconds. Still, it was not enough to earn the Mountain Lions a win.
"That's kind of the way our season has been going," said Pecic. "It kind of culminated in this game."
Pecic, a senior, has faces Colorado College six times in his CU-Colorado Springs career. The Tigers have won five of those meeting, three on buzzer beaters.
"I feel almost cursed," said Pecic. "Every game (against Colorado College) is close and they always seem to find a way to win it."
Reich scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half. The senior also grabbed 12 rebounds and had five steals.
Nick Rogerson had 15 points by going 5-of-11 from 3-point range for Colorado College (7-14). The Tigers made 47.8 percent (11-of-23) of their 3-pointers for the game.
The Mountain Lions have shown steady improvement. After losing their first 14 games by an average of 29.2 points per game, CU-Colorado Springs has lost its past four by four, seven, ten and two points. Not that that's much consolation.
"We're close," said Pecic. "(The problems are) defensive, mainly. We're doing a good job distributing the ball and running the offense. We have to find a way to stop them from scoring in the 80s and 90s. We're not the kind of team that's going to win a shootout."
But they are the kind of team that deserves to win something
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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