Feilmeier's 3-pointers not enough as UCCS is beaten by Chadron State

By Doug Fitzgerald published January 28, 2010

CHADRON, Neb. - Presented with a chance to take home a golden goose, the Mountain Lions instead laid an egg.

Ben Feilmeier had six 3-pointers, tied for the second most ever by a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs player, but that wasn't enough to prevent the Mountain Lions from dropping a 79-62 decision to the Chadron State Eagles Thursday evening at Armstrong Gym.

"This is the same ball we were playing in November," said UCCS coach Russ Caton, referring to him team's 0-5 start to the season. "When we show up with no fire and no toughness then we lose. That's the bottom line.

"It doesn't matter what you run or what you do offensively or defensively.It wasn't as bad as a it could have been; Ben was keeping us in it."

Feilmeier joined Nick Weaver (vs. Western New Mexico on Dec. 13, 2008) and Patrick Simpson (Vs. Carroll College on Jan. 26, 2007) for the No. 2 spot in the UCCS record book. Dustin Kelver made nine treys against Fort Lewis on Jan. 31, 2001 to set the school standard.

Feilmeier's 22 points led UCCS, while Alex Snyder added 13 and four assists. Cole Smith had a team-best five rebounds.

Chadron State shot 53.2 percent as a team compared to 43.1 percent for UCCS. The free throw disparity was even more pronounced as the Eagles converted 74.2 percent of their 31 attempts while UCCS was a dismal 10-for-21.

Shaw Buckner led the Eagles with 17 points and nine rebounds. Moala Tautuaa and Kevin McClelland added 12 each. Donte Archie had 10 points and a game-high six assists.

The Mountain Lions had a tremendous opportunity coming into Thursday's game. UCCS came in a half game ahead of Chadron State in the tight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference East Division standings. A win would have made things very uncomfortable for the Eagles. The loss, however put Chadron State at 5-6 in the conference (7-11 overall) while UCCS slipped a half game behind at 4-6 (6-12 overall).

And then there's the "lone wolf" factor.

Each of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference's two divisions is comprised of seven teams. Six of those are paired off as travel partners, with both teams playing a comparable set of travel partners on a given weekend. The seventh team becomes what is referred to as the "lone wolf." That team has the misfortune of having to play two teams " each of which plays only one game that week - on back-to-back nights. The obvious result is that, on the second night, the lone wolf is playing on tired legs against a team that has fresh legs.

If there were ever a time that the RMAC's unconscionable "lone wolf" scheduling format would work in favor of the lonely Canis Lupus, Thursday should have been it. Chadron State was coming off an emotional 65-64 win over arch-rival Nebraska-Kearney on Tuesday, meaning that the Eagles were the less-rested team for a change.

Instead, it took the Mountain Lions 3 minutes, 38 seconds to score their first point, a Tommy Klausner free throw to make it 13-1, after opening with two missed shots and five turnovers on their first seven possessions Thursday. Already leading 18-6, Chadron State ran off seven straight with a Buckner 3-pointer and four points by McClelland to extend the lead to 19.

Behind five 3-pointers by Feilmeier, UCCS clawed its way back to trail by a more manageable 42-32 at the half.

A 3-pointer by Luke Hristou got the Mountain Lions as close as they would get at 51-46 with 13:48 remaining. The gap was still five when a 10-2 run expanded it to 63-50 at the 9:34 mark. UCCS never got it under double digits the rest of the way.

"They outscrapped us, outhustled us, outpushed us and until we can do that continually we're going to struggle," said Caton.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Dustin KelverDustin Kelver3GSo.
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