CSU-Pueblo Outlasts Mountain Lions

By Doug Fitzgerald published December 12, 2009

PUEBLO, Colo. â€" Brent Jones led five University of Colorado at Colorado Springs players in double figures, but the road weary Mountain Lions couldnâ€TMt keep up with the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves in a 79-72 loss Saturday evening at Massari Arena.

Thanks to the “lone wolf” scheduling format, UCCS (1-7, 1-2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) was playing its second road game in as many days while it was the only game this week for CSU-Pueblo. The teams will meet again on Friday in Colorado Springs.

Jones a junior transfer from West Linn, Ore., scored a career-high 16 points. Cole Smith added 13 points for UCCS, with Chris Fernandez tacking on 12 and Alex Snyder and Luke Hristou each getting 10. Snyder had a team-best seven rebounds.

“If thereâ€TMs a positive we can take away from this, I started to see some things happen that weâ€TMve been working on,” said Caton,

Jones and Hristou both got extensive minutes as UCCS coach Russ Caton tried to not only replace injured starting point guard Ben Feilmeier, but also looked to minimize the effect of his teamâ€TMs fatigued legs.

“We tried to (use more bench), this being a second-night game,” said Caton. “We certainly hit a wall, so I probably should have used more guys than I did.”

Daniel Pierce led CSU-Pueblo (5-1, 3-0 RMAC) with 20 points, including a 4-for-5 mark from 3-point range. As a team, the Thunderwolves hit 44.4 percent from long range (8-for-18).

Chris Busch had 16 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots for CSU-Pueblo, while Marc Williams added 13 points and Nathan Tigner had 12. Led by Pierce and Tigner, the Thunderwolvesâ€TM bench scored 38 points.

CSU-Pueblo hit just one of its first 10 field goal attempts but UCCS was unable to capitalize as four turnovers and 2-of-6 shooting themselves put the Mountain Lions behind 7-4. That lead was still three when the Mountain Lions a steal and layup by Hristou followed a three-point play and a power layup by Jones that capped a 15-3 run that put UCCS up 32-21 with2:59 left in the first half.

The Thunderwolves responded decisively, knocking down four free throws and a 3-pointer to whittle the lead down to four. Fernandez capped the half with two free throws that put UCCS up 34-28.

UCCS had a 21-15 rebounding advantage in the half and held CSU-Pueblo to 33.3 percent shooting.

The Thunderwolves opened the second half with a 23-7 run to take a 51-42 lead during which Busch had nine points. A 3-pointer by Fernandez capped UCCSâ€TM 11-4 response that cut the gap to two with 8:42 remaining, but 3-pointers by Busch and Pierce aided a 10-4 run from 6:26 to 2:27 that returned the advantage to nine. UCCS couldnâ€TMt recover.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Chris FernandezChris Fernandez30FFr.
Chris FernandezChris Fernandez30FSo.
Chris FernandezChris Fernandez24F
Cole SmithCole Smith32FJr.
Cole SmithCole Smith32F
Alex SnyderAlex Snyder12GJr.
Alex SnyderAlex Snyder12G
Luke HristouLuke Hristou35FSo.
Luke HristouLuke Hristou35F
Luke HristouLuke Hristou35F
Brent JonesBrent Jones10F
Brent JonesBrent Jones10FSr.
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