UCCS on outside looking in concerning playoff picture after loss to Orediggers

By Doug Fitzgerald published February 6, 2010

GOLDEN, Colo. - The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' playoff aspirations took a hit Saturday as the Mountain Lions dropped a 91-69 decision to the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers at Lockridge Arena.

The Mountain Lions slipped to 5-8 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (7-14 overall), a full game behind Colorado Christian and Chadron State for the third and fourth spots allocated to the RMACâ€TMs East Division in the postseason tournament.

The loss makes the next two weekends critical for the Mountain Lions. UCCS will host Nebraska-Kearney (5-8) and Chadron State (6-7) on Feb. 12-13 and Colorado Mines (9-4) and Colorado Christian (6-7) on Feb. 19-20. The Mountain Lions' final two games will be on the road against Metro State (11-2) and Regis (2-11) on Feb. 26-27.

Cole Smith led UCCS with 15 points and six rebounds, while Chris Fernandez added 13 and Luke Hristou nine. The Mountain Lions were encouraged by the performances of Rob Howe and Damar Hill. The duo took advantage of their increased playing time as Howe had seven points and four rebounds and Hill had six points and a team-high four assists.

Brett Green, Dale Minschwaner and Drew Hoffman all topped the 20-point mark with 25, 22 and 20 respectively for the Orediggers (12-9 overall).

Mines made seven of its first 11 field goal attempts, including two 3-pointers, and 8-of-10 free throws over the first 9 minutes, 45 seconds as the Orediggers opened a formidable 24-8 lead. UCCS answered with a 14-2 run over the next 4:07 with the unlikely lineup of Hill, Howe, Fernandez, Hristou and Jordan McClung on the floor. All five of those players scored during the run.

After a Howe 3-pointer made it 31-25, Mines finished the first half with an 11-2 run to go into the intermission with a 15-point lead.

UCCS couldn't get closer than 11 in the second half.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Rob HoweRob Howe32FFr.
Rob HoweRob Howe21FSo.
Rob HoweRob Howe21F
Rob HoweRob Howe21FSr.
Jordan McClungJordan McClung14GFr.
Jordan McClungJordan McClung14GFr.
Jordan McClungJordan McClung14GJr.
Jordan McClungJordan McClung14GSo.
Chris FernandezChris Fernandez30FFr.
Chris FernandezChris Fernandez30FSo.
Chris FernandezChris Fernandez24F
Cole SmithCole Smith32FJr.
Cole SmithCole Smith32F
Luke HristouLuke Hristou35FSo.
Luke HristouLuke Hristou35F
Luke HristouLuke Hristou35F
Damar HillDamar Hill30G
Damar HillDamar Hill30G
Damar HillDamar Hill30G
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