Long range shooters on target as UCCS gets first win in new Event Center
Scott Sublousky and Ben Feilmeier found the new UCCS Event Center much to their liking Saturday evening.
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs guards scored 18 points each as the Mountain Lions won for the first time in their new venue, a 76-66 victory over the Adams State Grizzlies.
"It was just fun," said UCCS coach Russ Caton. "We've got a great gym to play in now, it's great college basketball. Hopefully, it's a spark and a start for us to make some things happen in this conference and put us into a good playoff position."
Feilmeier and Sublousky each had three 3-pointers with Feilmeier's coming on seven attempts and Sublousky's on six. That's significant because, although both were prolific from long range a season ago, they came into Saturday's game shooting just 25 and 27.8 percent from 3-point range respectively.
"It's a whole different game when the ball goes in the hole a little bit," said UCCS coach Russ Caton. "We finally had those guys knock some stuff down and that was really the difference for us. That's definitely the best kind of ball, when you have a good inside/outside combination."
Nick Fox was outstanding inside for Adams State (4-9, 1-4 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference). The 6-foot-7 freshman from Sand Creek High School in Colorado Springs delighted his ample following with 30 points, 16 rebounds and five steals. Teammate Seth Heinbaugh added 12 points.
Fox was 9-for-15 from the field and 12-for-16 from the foul line. The rest of the Grizzlies combined to shoot just 26.7 percent.
Chris Fernandez had his first double-double of the season for UCCS (4-9, 2-3 RMAC) with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Feilmeier added a game-high four assists.
Adams State built a first-half lead on a frigid spell by the Mountain Lions. From the 16:17 mark all the way to Fernandez's 3-pointer with 8:08 left, UCCS went 1-for-8 from the field and committed six turnovers to turn a 9-5 lead into a 24-11 deficit. By the intermission, the Mountain Lions had battled back to trail by just four at 35-31.
In the second half, UCCS scored a technical knockout.
After three-point play by Luke Hristou capped a 9-2 UCCS run to tie the game at 44, Adams State was saddled with back-to-back technical fouls, the first by Kek Biel who disagreed he had committed a foul, and one by Adams State coach Mark Murdock, who disagreed that Biel should have been assessed the 'T'. The result was six consecutive free throws by Sublousky, the RMAC's leading free throw shooter, five of which he made.
A Feilmeier 3-pointer grew the UCCS lead to 56-48 with 10:19 left, and a Sublousky trey 1:35 later returned the gap to eight after the Grizzles had given it a trim. The Grizzlies got as close as they would get when a Robby Hanzlik jumper cut it to 65-61 with 4:24 left, but Sublousky answered with another 3-pointer to neuter the momentum.
The Mountain Lions could have put the game away earlier, but shot a painful 14-of-27 from the foul line in the second half.
"We're still scary with our free throws and we shoot those all the time, so I don't know what to do about that," said Caton.
Free throws notwithstanding, the Mountain Lions came close Friday against a very good Fort Lewis team and played a good all-around game in Saturday's win. A significant portion of the credit for the strong performances goes to the new UCCS Event Center. Each of the four games (two men's and two women's) played there so far have had a crowd larger than would have been able to fit into the tiny Lions' Den. Saturday, 545 fans watched the win.
"It's a whole new experience," said Sublousky. "I remember going out there during our shootaround before the game and just enjoying the moment.
"The fans, the new gym ... you couldn't ask for anything more."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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