UCCS tops Panhandle, matches best start
GUNNISON- Oklahoma Panhandle State proved that Patrick Hannaway could be slowed down. The Mountain Lions proved that it didn't matter.
Five University of Colorado at Colorado Springs players scored in double figures as the Mountain Lions matched the program's all-time best start by beating the Aggies 95-71 Saturday Evening at Paul Wright Gymnasium.
Panhandle State focused its defense on stopping Hannaway, often manhandling him inside. The senior did score 17 points, six from the foul line, but dropped his 81.7 shooting percentage with a 5-of-10 performance.
None of that mattered. Bly McGuire led the Mountain Lions with 18 points, while Nic Fuller added 17, Joe Scott had 16 and Bryan Snyder had 10. McGuire and Hannaway led UCCS with nine rebounds each.
"(Hannaway's) going to get a lot of attention because he's our main scorer," said Fuller, who went 4-of-6 from 3-point range and added four assists. "He's getting triple-teamed every night. We have to be ready to help him out when (opponents) do that."
The Mountain Lions provided that help. UCCS shot 40 percent on 3-pointers and 52.3 percent overall.
William Stephenson led Panhandle State (1-6) with 18 points and 12 rebounds. The Aggies tried to overmatch Fuller on the defensive end with minimal success.
"They tried beating me off the dribble so they can get the layup or draw the double team and kick it out," said Fuller. "You just try to stay down and pressure the shots."
Panhandle State point guard E.J. Ollison did manage four assists but shot only 1-of-6.
UCCS is now 4-1, matching the 1997-98 team for the best start in school history.
"Just to play with these guys is awesome," said Fuller, who transferred to UCCS this season from Otero Junior College â€œand to come away with wins is great."
Behind hot shooting by Scott and McGuire, the Mountain Lions led by as many as 15 in the first half before settling for a 44-34 advantage at intermission.
Panhandle State never got any closer. UCCS, leading by 12 with 8:24 remaining, went on a 24-5 run over the next six minutes to put the game away.
UCCS begins the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference portion of its schedule this week with games at Colorado State-Pueblo on Friday and Adams State on Saturday. Both opponents will be looking for a way to slow the Mountain Lions, who are averaging 90.4 points per game so far this season and are shooting 55.3 percent from the field, including 40.7 percent from 3-point range.
And it's become clear that simply focusing on Hannaway won't work.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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