Hannaway outstanding but not perfect

By Doug Fitzgerald published December 30, 2005

A sad irony of sports is that on the same night one is nearly perfect, the slightest imperfection can be incredibly costly.

Patrick Hannaway was outstanding with 22 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals, but it was his lone missed free throw that opened the door for the Colorado Christian Cougars to edge the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions 77-76 Friday night at Cougar Fieldhouse.

"To win on the road in the RMAC, you have to be 10-to-15 points better than your opponent," said UCCS coach Lance Hammond. "Tonight, we were 9-to-14 points better and it cost us."

With the score tied at 75 and 19.2 seconds remaining, Hannaway stood at the foul line with a chance to give UCCS the lead. His first free throw hit the front of the rim, bounced to the back of the rim, caromed off the backboard, hit the rim again and dribbled off. It was his only miss in nine attempts.

"It felt good when it left my hand," said Hannaway. "It just rolled right out; toilet bowl."

Hannaway made the second shot, giving the Mountain Lions a 76-75 lead. The Cougars rushed the ball down the floor. Josh Gallagher dribbled around a double pick at the top of the key and changed hard towards the hoop. Hannaway went high in an attempt to block the shot but was called for the foul. Gallagher made both of his free throws.

P.J. Forrest's 22-footer at the buzzer came up inches short.

The errant free throw was only the last of the Mountain Lions' ample opportunities to take control of the game. UCCS shot a sub-par 36.7 percent from the field despite getting plenty of open shots and also committed 16 turnovers.

Defensively, the Mountain Lions did a good job of limiting Colorado Christian's 3-point opportunities. The Cougars, who came into the game shooting 40.7 percent from long range, were limited to 30.8 percent Friday.

"The coaches told us all week that we were going to try to make them put (the ball) on the floor and shoot one-dribble pull-ups," said UCCS guard Patrick Simpson, who was one of the Mountain Lions' most effective perimeter defenders. "All I was trying to do was run at them hard and make them go around."

For Simpson, it was the second straight game in which he had seen significant playing time.

"I'm excited about playing more," said Simpson. "I knew coach was going to give me my chance some time, I was just waiting for it."
While the perimeter defense was solid, the interior proved vulnerable. Colorado Christian's Brian Stamer scored a game-high 31 points largely through ball fakes and good use of screens. The Mountain Lions too frequently left their feet on the ball fakes and were slow to react to the screens.

There were other bright spots for UCCS. Bryan Snyder had 16 points, including two four-point plays. Bly McGuire added 15 points. Forrest added eight points, six rebounds and five assists.

The other good news was that Friday's game, although against a RMAC opponent, was not a conference game. Colorado Christian and UCCS will play again on Thursday at the Lions' Den in a game that will count towards the conference standings. The Mountain Lions will stay at home on Saturday to play Colorado School of Mines.

"We get these guys again and hopefully get a little payback," said Simpson. "Colorado School of Mines plays the same style; a lot of handoffs, a lot of 3-point shooting and they really run the floor."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

P.J. ForrestP.J. Forrest05G
Patrick HannawayPatrick Hannaway34G/FSr.
Patrick HannawayPatrick Hannaway34G/FSr.
Bly McGuireBly McGuire33CSr.
Bly McGuireBly McGuire33CSr.
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