UCCS can't stay with fully-funded Metro State

By Doug Fitzgerald published December 17, 2005

DENVER- The Metro State Roadrunners outshot the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs 58.5 percent to 34.6 percent as the mountain Lions were defeated 82-50 Saturday night at the Nest.

Metro State made 3-pointers on each of its first three possessions, including a four-point play, to open up a 10-0 lead. The Roadrunner (5-4, 2-2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) increased the lead to 14 at the half and to 20 five minutes into the second half.

"Unfortunately, they shot the ball really well at the start of the game and we missed a few and (put) a little gas on the fire," said UCCS coach Lance Hammond. "When you play a team that's as well coached as Metro State and you don't execute, this is what happens."

Offensively, UCCS seemed surprised early by Metro State's ferocious press defense.

"We didn't do the job I wish he would have in attacking the press and getting people to the right spots on the floor," said Hammond.

Drew Williamson led Metro State with 22 points, while Greg Muth had 13 and Marquise Carrington and Michael Bahl added 11 each.

This one was never close.

Then again, it's remarkable when the Mountain Lions keep it close against a fully-funded program like they did Friday at Regis. Against Metro State UCCS was pitting its 3½ scholarships against 10. UCCS coach Lance Hammond has one part-time assistant (Kevin Conboy) and a volunteer assistant (Rodney Yates), while Metro State coach Mike Dunlap has four full-timers and an army of hanger-ons. Metro State recruits will play in the 2,300-seat gym they call the Nest, while UCCS freshmen have four years in the dinky, dingy Lions' Den to look forward to.

All of those disadvantages promise to change in UCCS' favor in the future, but for now Hammond and the Mountain Lions face an uphill battle against the Metro State's of the world.

Despite that, the Mountain Lions battled Saturday night.

It was a coming-out party of sorts for Cody Blessing, who led the Mountain Lions with 13 points, the freshman's career high. Sophomore Matt Cordova added 10 points, his best total of the season.

"As a scorer, you need to be in the flow of the game and without that, it's hard to play to your potential," said Blessing. "Tonight, I got my chance to really get in the flow and I showed what I can do."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Matt CordovaMatt Cordova15G/FFr.
Matt CordovaMatt Cordova15G/FFr.
Cody BlessingCody Blessing14G-F
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