Mountain Lions set 3-point record to earn first win of season

By Doug Fitzgerald published December 13, 2008

SILVER CITY, N.M. â€" The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs made a school-record 15 3-pointers as the Mountain Lions earned their first win of the season, a 102-97 victory over the Western New Mexico Mustangs Saturday evening at Mustang Fieldhouse in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference opener for both teams.

Six of those 3-pointers belonged to Nick Weaver, whose 27 points led six Mountain Lions in double figures. Scott Sublousky had five treys and 17 points overall, while Ben Feilmeier (14 points) and Chris Fernandez (12 points) each had two 3-pointers.

The Mountain Lions made 50 percent of their attempts from long range. Over the past three games, UCCS is 32-for-67 (47.8 percent) on 3-pointers.

Junior Cole Smith and senior Steven Clements each had their first career double-doubles. Smith had 14 points and 13 rebounds while Clements added 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Devin Stewart led Western New Mexico with 13 assists while orchestrating an offense that committed only six turnovers. D.J. Nicholas led the Mustangs with 21 points and Stewart had 20.

It was only the seventh time a UCCS menâ€TMs basketball team had scored 100 or more points in a game. The most recent was a 107-100 double-overtime win over Colorado State-Pueblo on Dec. 30, 2006.

The Mountain Lions outrebounded WNMU 50-39, which tied for the fifth highest rebounding total in UCCS history.

Turnovers and cold shooting had the Mountain Lions trailing by as 13 with 8:37 remaining in the first half. Two 3-pointers by Sublousky, though, led UCCS to a 10-0 run over the next 1:31 that cut the lead to 29-26. The Mountain Lions made just three of their final 10 field goal attempts of the half, which led to a 51-42 halftime deficit.

The Mustangs opened the second half by extending the lead to 11 on a Nicholas jumper. The Mountain Lions answered quickly, outscoring WNMU 11-2 to cut the deficit to two with 17 minutes remaining. A minute later, a Fernandez 3-pointer tied the game at 58.

A 7-0 run gave UCCS an 86-76 lead with 7:24 left. Western New Mexico closed to within four in the final minute, but two free throws each by Clements and Jordan McClung helped UCCS preserve the win.

The hope around UCCS has been that the ridiculously tough nonconference schedule that the Mountain Lions took on would better prepare them for RMAC play rather than simply crush their spirit. The latter seemed more likely as UCCS opened the season 0-7. Coach Russ Caton, though, has steadfastly professed his confidence that his team would be ready for conference play.

His optimism wasnâ€TMt without precedent. In 2007, UCCS volleyball coach Jessica Wood put her team through a brutal nonconference slate that had her team open with a 2-7 record. That team went on to win 21 of its next 24 games and became the first UCCS volleyball squad to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Steven ClementsSteven Clements54C/FJr.
Steven ClementsSteven Clements54C/FSr.
Chris FernandezChris Fernandez30FFr.
Chris FernandezChris Fernandez30FSo.
Chris FernandezChris Fernandez24F
Cole SmithCole Smith32FJr.
Cole SmithCole Smith32F
Scott SublouskyScott Sublousky15GFr.
Scott SublouskyScott Sublousky15GSr.
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