Enos is Enough as Mountain Lions Get Beaten by Black Hills State
COLORADO SPRINGS - Luke Enos had 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists to lead the Black Hills State Yellowjackets to an 87-76 win over the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in the final game of the Marriott Mountain Lion Classic Saturday evening at the Lions' Den.
Cain Atkinson added 19 points for Black Hills State, which improved to 5-3, and Clay Pottorff had 10. Will John Johnson grabbed 15 of the Yellowjackets' 39 rebounds.
The Mountain Lions had a higher level of energy than during Friday's loss to underdog Colorado College. What was missing was confidence; confidence in the system, confidence in the teammates and confidence in themselves.
"I think we were playing off of last night's destruction," said UCCS coach Russ Caton. "I felt like we were a pretty shattered team by the way we were shooting the ball and some of the bonehead mistakes we were making.
"It's going to take some time, it's going to take some good, hard practice and it's going to take some guys getting healthy. It's going to take some work, that's all I know."
But if any team has reason not to be too discouraged about an 0-2 start to the season, it's the Mountain Lions. A season ago, UCCS started 0-9 and came back to go 10-9 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play (10-18 overall) and claim a postseason playoff spot for the second time in three years. Nine of this season's Mountain Lions were on that team.
"We know what a long road it is and we know that things can change in a hurry," said Caton. "Confidence is an up-and-down roller-coaster ride.
"We talk about the big picture; making sure we're playing our best basketball in the thick of conference. I'm pretty sure we're not playing our best basketball yet."
Scott Sublousky led UCCS with 16 points. Jordan McClung and Ben Feilmeier added 12 and 10 respectively. Tommy Klausner led the Mountain Lions with nine rebounds, just ahead of Cole Smith (eight) and Alex Snyder (seven). Klausner added three blocked shots.
Black Hills State had a huge shooting advantage, hitting 58.6 percent of its shots compared to 42.4 percent for UCCS. The free throw shooting was even worse. The Mountain Lions did not make a free throw until the 10:06 mark of the second half, going 0-9 over that stretch. They made 11 of their final 15 to finish with a 45.8 percent mark.
The Yellowjackets led wire-to-wire, scoring the first nine points of the game. UCCS cut the deficit to 11-9 only to see Black Hills State respond with an 8-0 run. At the 5:36 mark, the lead went into double digits for the duration.
The gap grew to as much as 27, and was at that level when the Mountain Lions' bench provided one of the team's few bright spots. With Rob Howe, Levi Harris, Damar Hill, Luke Hristou and Eric Gardzina on the floor, UCCS closed with a, 18-2 run to make the final margin considerably more respectable.
Hill finished with a team-high six assists along with three steals and three points in just eight minutes of playing time. Howe had five points and a rebound in three minutes, Hristou six points in three minutes, Harris three points and three steals in 11 minutes and Gardzina six rebounds in nine minutes.
Colorado College and Black Hills State shared the tournament championship, each going 2-0.
The Mountain Lions will head to Nampa, Idaho, after Thanksgiving for a pair of tough Division II games against Northwest Nazarene and Central Washington.
"It's a long year and I believe in these guys," said Caton. "I think we have the players to be successful. We just aren't putting it together the right way and getting the right things accomplished."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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