Balanced attack leads UCCS past Western State
COLORADO SPRINGS- Patrick Hannaway and Bly McGuire scored 18 points each as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs topped the Western State Mountaineers 84-71 Saturday evening at the Lions' Den.
Nic Fuller added 16 points, six assists and three steals for the Mountain Lions, while Joe Scott had 13 points. Patrick Simpson nailed three 3-pointers to account for nine points.
UCCS enjoyed a balanced attack, with 31 points coming off the bench. The Mountain Lions also got 15 of their 41 rebounds from reserves.
UCCS also was effective in pestering Western State's shooters, holding the Mountaineers to 40 percent shooting overall and 30 percent from 3-point range.
"We were prepared," said UCCS coach Russ Caton. "We made them do things they didn't want to do."
One of those things was chasing shooters around screens to keep the gap close. It also prevented the Mountaineers from setting their feet.
"We have to talk when we get through screens," said Scott. "You can't give them any room or they'll bust it."
UCCS also made certain to use their advantage in size and strength.
"We wanted to be really physical with (the Mountaineers) because they're all shooters," said forward Kyle Perkins, who grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. "That's what coach stressed this week. It's hard to shoot when guys are getting physical with you."
Perkins, a freshman, has averaged five rebounds per game this season despite standing just 6-foot-4.
"Rebounding is desire and heart," said Perkins. "To rebound you have to want it."
The Mountain Lions wanted it Saturday, outrebounding Western State 41-27.
Carleton Goggins led Western State (6-3, 2-1 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with 24 points.
UCCS led 15-14 with nine minutes remaining when a pair of Hannaway field goals sparked a 16-6 run. The Mountain Lions held that 11-point lead into halftime.
The Mountaineers had whittled the advantage to 41-33 with 16:11 left when UCCS went on a 14-6 run to blow the game open. Six different Mountain Lions scored during the run.
The Mountain Lions extended the lead to 18 before Western State went on a run in the final three minutes to close to within nine. UCCS reached the final margin on free throws.
UCCS improved to 7-2 on the season, two games better than the previous best start in school history. The Mountain Lions, who are also 2-1 in the RMAC, will have two weeks off before they play Colorado State-Pueblo in a nonconference game on Dec. 30.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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