Shooting woes continue in loss to CSU-Pueblo

By Doug Fitzgerald published December 19, 2007

PUEBLO -- Nic Fuller's 3-point attempt at the buzzer fell short as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was beaten 69-66 by the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves Wednesday evening at the Colorado State Fairgrounds Events Center.

Julien Franklin led CSU-Pueblo (3-8) with 17 points, including a 5-for-7 shooting performance from 3-point range. Chris Childress added 15 points for the Thunderwolves, while Brian Sewald had nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

CSU-Pueblo was able to dictate the pace of the game, grinding the run-happy Mountain Lions to a walk. The result was a season-worst 36 percent shooting night for UCCS.

"If we get stops, we can run on anybody," said Fuller. "We just didn't get stops. If we get more stops, our running game is fine."

The loss ended UCCS' four-game win streak over the Thunderwolves. The past three Mountain Lion wins all went into overtime. UCCS was hoping to make it four in a row when Fuller came around a double screen to take the inbounds pass with 5.1 seconds left. Fuller dribbled around one Thunderwolves player before launching a pump-fake attempt with Mario Balentin in his face.

"The play was two double-high screens, pick a side and just come off and try to get a look because we only had five seconds," said Fuller. "We were trying to get a shot up."

The miss not only dropped UCCS to 5-5 on the season but it also gave CSU-Pueblo two valuable points in the Steel and Silver Series. UCCS' lead in the rivalry series was reduced to 11-8. Although both teams are members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Wednesday's game did not count towards the teams' conference records.

Fuller led the Mountain Lions with 16 points, while Kyle Perkins added 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

Trailing 11-6 with 11:09 left in the first half, the Thunderwolves got consecutive 3-pointers by Julien Franklin that sparked a 16-4 run over the next five minutes. UCCS, coming off three of its five worst shooting performances since Russ Caton became the team's coach prior to the 2006-07 season, shot a meager 33.3 percent in the first period and went into the intermission trailing 33-26.

The lead was 37-29 early in the second half when UCCS went on an 8-0 run to tie the game. The teams seesawed until Fuller's final attempt.

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