Perkins' career-high 31 not enough for UCCS

By Doug Fitzgerald published January 18, 2008

COLORADO SPRINGS -- It was cold outside Friday evening.

Inside, it was cold from the outside.

Kyle Perkins had a career-high 31 points but he and his University of Colorado at Colorado Springs teammate went ice-cold from the perimeter, paving the way for a 79-73 victory by the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers at the Lions' Den.

UCCS has now lost three straight and six of its past seven.

"It's a team game," said Perkins. "No matter who comes out with the high points, we've got to find something as a team."

The Mountain Lions made just one of their 13 3-pointers, allowing the Lopers to erase a seven-point second-half deficit.

Perkins also had 11 rebounds, three steals and three assists. The sophomore had 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting in the first half as UCCS attacked the basket.

"I thought the lane was there, so I took it," said Perkins. "That's something that coach (Russ) Caton stressed extremely hard every day -- every second -- in practice this week, so that's what we focused on more as a team."

The Lopers, who are led by co-coaches Tom Kropp and Kevin Lofton, made the necessary halftime adjustments. With the defense sagging deep, Perkins was limited to 3-of-12 shooting in the second half.

"They came out in a 2-3 zone," said Perkins. "A lot of times when we were attacking, we weren't strong with the ball and they were able to strip it from us. That's something we have to correct."

That lack of strength with the ball led UCCS to give up a season-high 23 turnovers. At the same time, a lack of marksmanship kept the Mountain Lions from exploiting the zone

Tomaul Hawkins added 15 points and 10 rebounds for UCCS (6-10, 2-6 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference). Frank McCollum and Eric Davis each had eight points.

Drake Beranek led Nebraska-Kearney (7-8, 5-3 RMAC) with 19 points and seven assists. Garrett Lever added 18 for the Lopers, who shot 43.8 percent from 3-point range.

Perkins had 21 of his points in the first half as the Mountain Lions turned a 25-18 deficit into a 39-30 lead. Perhaps foreshadowing what was to come, though, Nebraska-Kearney scored the final four points of the period to go into the intermission trailing by just five.

The Mountain Lions were leading 52-45 with 12:18 remaining when the Lopers, behind seven points by Jeff Martin, went on an 11-4 run to tie the game. The score was still tied with 6:50 left when UCCS went frigid, missing all four of its shots and committing four turnovers during a 9-2 UNK rally that gave the Lopers a 72-65 lead with two minutes left.

The rest was academic. It was a game the Mountain Lions could have won. It was a game the Mountain Lions should have won.

"We've got to find something; it's frustrating right now," said Perkins.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Eric DavisEric Davis35FFr.
Eric DavisEric Davis35FSo.
Frank McCollumFrank McCollum42G
Frank McCollumFrank McCollum42GSr.
Tomaul HawkinsTomaul Hawkins24GJr.
Kyle PerkinsKyle Perkins21FSo.
Kyle PerkinsKyle Perkins21FFr.
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