UCCS dodges bombs, beats Colorado College
COLORADO SPRINGS- Behind Patrick Hannaway's 26 points the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs dodged a bullet Tuesday night, edging the Colorado College Tigers 85-77 at the Lions' Den.
On second thought, the Mountain Lions dodged a bomb instead. Lots of bombs.
Colorado College stayed in the game by way of deft shooting, making 14 of 26 from 3-point range. That shooting was particularly sharp when the Tigers knocked down 8-of-12 over the final eight minutes of the first half to turn a 14-point UCCS lead into a 43-42 deficit at the break.
"We gave them too much room," said UCCS freshman Nick Taylor, who had a breakout game with a career-high 12 points. "Coach said we needed to make the shooters put the ball on the ground (and) make them dribble. We were also going around screens instead of through screens."
The Mountain Lions were holding onto a precarious 74-72 lead with 4:32 remaining when they were able to find some running room. Two fast break hoops by Hannaway and another by Nic Fuller over a 57-second span gave UCCS an eight-point advantage with three minutes left. Accurate free throw shooting down the stretch made that lead stand up.
Fuller added 17 points and a game-high five assists for UCCS, while Bly McGuire grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.
With the win, the Mountain Lions improved to 6-2, the best start in UCCS history.
Jarrell Sweet led Colorado College (1-10) with 24 points and four steals. Nate Brodman added 19 points, while Lance Jacobs had 11.
Taylor, who has seen little playing to this point, went 5-of-8 from the field and also added two assists.
"(UCCS coach Russ Caton) gave me a chance and I stepped up," said Taylor. "He gave me my big opportunity to show what I can do."
That he did. Shooting, though, has never been the question. As a freshman, it was Taylor's defense that needed refinement in order to earn playing time.
"I've been working on my foot quickness and help-side defense," said Fuller. "I need to be in the right spot at the right time."
After the game, Caton was both relieved and upset-an odd emotional mixture that is common among coaches.
"We're winning games but sometimes it feels like we lost," said Caton. "That tells you something about our mind-set. We have high expectations and when we don't live up to them, it feels like we were unsuccessful.
"That can be a good thing, though, to have high expectations."
It's also good to dodge the bombs.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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