Fuller's shot lifts UCCS past Fort Lewis

By Doug Fitzgerald published January 12, 2007

COLORADO SPRINGS- Nic Fuller hit a pull-up jumper with 9.7 seconds remaining to lift the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to an 89-87 victory over the Fort Lewis Skyhawks Friday night at the Lions' Den.

After Fort Lewis' Devon Manning hit two free throws to tie the score for the seventh time in the game, UCCS gained possession with 40 seconds left. The Mountain Lions (10-3, 4-2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) ran 31 seconds off the shot clock before Fuller drove down the left baseline and pulled up for a 15 footer that hit nothing but net.

Ironically, Fuller wasn't supposed to take the shot in the first place.

"The plan was for me to drive the baseline and get someone to jump out on me and hit (Bly McGuire) or (Patrick Hannaway). They were setting a baseline screen for each other," said Fuller. "Both of their guys were blocking the baseline so I couldn't get a pass to them. But I got by my guy which created just enough space to get the jumper off."

Fort Lewis had a chance at the end but Devon Manning's 3-pointer glanced off the right side of the rim. Ryan Yates was there to grab the rebound but his putback attempt also missed.

Hannaway led UCCS with 24 points while Fuller had 23 and McGuire added 18 and a game-high eight rebounds. The Mountain Lions also shot 58.8 percent from the field, including 7-of-15 from 3-point range.

"Coach always tells us not to take contested shots. If there's a guy up on us, we swing it," said Fuller. "Coach always says to pass up a good shot to get a great shot."

Tim Bieri scored 24 of his game-high 27 points in the second half as Fort Lewis (11-4, 4-3 RMAC) erased a 10-point deficit. The senior from Berthoud hit three straight at one point to fuel the comeback

Devon Manning added 24 points for the Skyhawks, while Guy Meyer added 19.

Fort Lewis came out of the gate on fire. The Skyhawks made eight of their first nine shots to take a 17-4 lead five minutes into the game. UCCS battled back methodically, tying the game at 21 with 7:19 left in the half.

"The thing that stuck out to me was that we didn't panic when we were down early," said Caton. "We kept playing our game."

Despite school not yet being in session and wintry weather, 361 Den-izens crammed into UCCS' 412-seast gym. The Mountain Lions will play Mesa State Saturday at 8 p.m.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Bly McGuireBly McGuire33CSr.
Bly McGuireBly McGuire33CSr.
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