Weaver's records can't lift UCCS past Southwest Oklahoma State
COLORADO SPRINGS - Nick Weaver set two University of Colorado at Colorado Springs records in his first game as a Mountain Lion but that lost much of its luster as UCCS lost 94-85 to the Southwest Oklahoma State Bulldogs at the Lions' Den in the opener for both teams.
Weaver scored 30 points, the most ever by a player in his first game at UCCS, and made 21 free throws, also a school record.
"I had to try to get to the line; I didn't have much choice because I didn't have much going for me tonight," said Weaver, who struggled with a 4-for-15 performance from the field. "When the shot's not falling, go to the hole.
"My whole plan was to create body contact and make the refs make the call."
Weaver wasn't the only one drawing whistles. The teams combined for 81 free throw attempts, 46 of those by the visiting Bulldogs.
Southwest Oklahoma State seemed to have broken the game open in the first half. Kendall Smith scored 10 consecutive points to help the Bulldogs turn a 14-14 tie into a 29-19 advantage with just under 10 minutes remaining in the half. They were leading by nine with 9:20 remaining when they forced UCCS turnovers on four consecutive possessions and scored on each to stretch the advantage to 38-21.
Three of those turnovers came by way of steals by Abdullah Lawal, who had seven for the game.
"He played lock down," said Weaver about Lawal. "He's a real physical defender; he'll push you around. You have to be careful not to pick up offensive fouls with him."
The Mountain Lions battled back, closing the deficit to 10 at intermission. Later, an 8-2 UCCS run cut the gap to 84-82 with 4:22 left in the game.
It was 86-84 with just under three minutes remaining when the Mountain Lions' offense went cold. UCCS managed just one point the rest of the way.
"We had three or four hollow possessions where we took threes," said Weaver. "We were trying to go for the grand slam instead of trying to just get the single."
The Mountain Lions outrebounded the Bulldogs 46-36 as Frank McCollum and Weaver each had nine and Tommy Klausner had eight. But 22 UCCS turnovers, 12 more than the opposition, helped SWOSU to a 67-58 advantage in field goal attempts.
Ben Feilmeier added 15 points for the Mountain Lions and Jordan McClung had 10.
Kenneth White led five Southwest Oklahoma State players in double figures with 19 points. Joining him were Clarke Hale and Smith, each with 15, Jordan Frosch with 12 and Jerard Campbell with 11.
The previous record for points by a player in his first game at UCCS was 23 by Patrick Hannaway on Nov. 15, 2005. The free throw mark eclipsed the previous record of 16, held jointly by Kevin Fletcher (Jan. 18, 2002) and Neal Robinson (Jan. 28, 1991). Weaver came up one short of Robinson's record of 23 free throws attempted.
"I'm glad to get (the records) but it sucks the way I had to get them; in a loss and not shooting too well from the field," said Weaver.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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