UCCS off to first 2-0 start in school history

By Matt Sandstead published November 24, 2006

The Mountain Lions did something no University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's basketball team had done before - started a season 2-0.

The 105-86 win over the Carroll College Pioneers, the No. 17-ranked team in NCAA Division III, Friday night not only marked the first time in school history that the team was able to win its first two games of the season, but it was also the sixth highest offense output in school history.

Friday's game secured Russ Caton a place in school history by being the first coach to push the Mountain Lions to a 2-0 start. More impressive is the fact that this is Caton's first year as a head coach.

"[The 2-0 start] is definitely because of both coach and the team," said Bly McGuire. "We can't be happy with just that though. We have a lot of areas we need to work on."

Patrick Hannaway was the story of the game though. Hannaway put up a career-high 31 points on a flawless 15-for-15 shooting performance from the floor. After two games, the senior is shooting a ridiculous 86.2 percent from the field.

But it wasn't just Hannaway lighting up the scoreboard.

McGuire added a career high of his own with 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting. He also added eight rebounds.

In fact, the first time either McGuire or Hannaway missed a shot came with 18 minutes remaining in the game. McGuire missed a 15-foot jumper. Ironically, it was Hannaway who was there to gather the rebound and put the ball back up for the bucket.

"That was actually a pass," said Hannaway with a laugh. "But seriously, we just out-sized them and coach emphasized playing hard tonight."

As a team, the Mountain Lions shot a robust 62.9 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Pioneers 51-33. If there was a down side, UCCS did struggle at the free-throw line shooting just 57.9 percent on 11-for-19.

Early in the first half the Mountain Lions jumped out to a 19-point lead. But, due to some unforced turnovers and sloppy defense, the Pioneers were able to whittle the deficit to just nine by halftime.

During that stretch the Pioneers were able to string together a 14-0 run.

"We just went brain-dead," said McGuire.

However, Hannaway had another explanation for the letdown.

"We were just standing out there," he said.
"When you don't move, no one's open and you don't get shots [on offense]. And we weren't getting back on defense and that let them knock down open three's."

The letdown cost the Mountain Lions what could have been a blowout win.

"If we would have played the way know we are capable, we would have won that game by 40," said Hannaway. "They don't go on that run, we're up by 25 instead of nine at halftime."

Despite the lapse, the Mountain Lions corected their problems during halftime and cruised to a 105-86 victory over one of the better Division III schools in the country.

The Pioneers (0-2) were led by Nathan Drury. The Division III All-American candidate finished with 24 points on 8-for-20 shooting with three assists.

"Some of those (Division 3) schools get players off the streets and they just want to play ball," said Hannaway. "I mean, they were No. 17 in the nation."

Nic Fuller added 15 points and five assists for the Mountian Lions while Bryan Snyder and Ben Feilmeier added seven and eight points respectively off the bench.

The game between the Mountain Lions and Pioneers was the first game of the Colorado College Thanksgiving Invitational hosted by Colorado College.

The Mountain Lions (2-0) return to Reid Gymnasium at Colorado College to face Menlo College tomorrow night at 6 p.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Patrick HannawayPatrick Hannaway34G/FSr.
Patrick HannawayPatrick Hannaway34G/FSr.
Bly McGuireBly McGuire33CSr.
Bly McGuireBly McGuire33CSr.
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