Highlands big man too much for Lions
Matt Howell scored 27 points and grabbed 18 rebounds as the New Mexico Highlands Cowboys won their sixth straight game, 107-77 over the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions Tuesday afternoon at the Lions' Den.
Howell, a 7-foot, 295-pound junior, went 13-for-17 from the field and dominated the paint, brushing aside the Mountain Lions' post duo of 205-pound Jim Pecic and 195-pound Dan Deveau.
"We really don't have a true big man so it's hard for us to battle down low," said CU-Colorado Springs guard Matt Cordova. "When the guards dig down too low to help out, they light it up from 3."
That's exactly what happened in the first half. Tim Thompson scored the game's first seven points on a 3-pointer and a pair of jumpers as Highlands (9-15, 7-7 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) raced to a 25-13 lead just over eight minutes into the game.
The Cowboys went 7-for-9 from 3-point range to open a 57-40 halftime lead. CU-Colorado Springs paid more attention to the perimeter in the second half, only to see Howell blow up for 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Despite having to wrestle with Howell, Pecic still managed 19 points and 18 rebounds. Trey White added 14 points for the Mountain Lions, while Torrey Phillips and Matt Cordova added 13 each.
For Cordova, the game provided further evidence of his maturation as a basketball player. Through the first nine games of the season, the freshman was shooting only 19.3 percent. Since then, he has shot 42.3 percent, including a 5-for-11 performance on Tuesday. He has also scored in double figure in each of the past seven games.
"At the beginning of the year the game was really fast. I was having trouble adjusting to the pace," said Cordova. "Now, I'm more accustomed to the speed of the game so I'm getting more shots."
Thompson finished with 18 points. Robert Franklin and Gene Gonzalez each had 15 points, while Jeremy Soria added 11.
The loss dropped CU-Colorado Springs to 0-21, 0-14 in the RMAC. It was the Mountain Lions' school-record 22nd straight loss.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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