Mountain Lions Open with Exhibition Win Over Johnson & Wales
COLORADO SPRINGS - Brent Jones had 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots to lead the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to a 75-67 exhibition victory over the Johnson & Wales Wildcats Tuesday evening at the Gallogly Events Center.
Jordan McClung joined Jones with 14 points as the Mountain Lions got off to a good start for 2010-11. UCCS will play one more exhibition - Nov. 14 at Air Force - before opening its season with games against Northwest Nazarene and Eastern New Mexico in Durango, Colo.
"There's certainly a lot of room for improvement, but it's a good start," said UCCS coach Russ Caton. "Jordan McClung did a great job for us running the team from the point, which he didn't get to do a lot last year. We may look to do that a little more."
Ben Feilmeier and J.T. Isaac added 13 and 11 points respectively for the Mountain Lions, while Chase Richards had a team-best four assists. Rob Howe and Dalton Patton each had two blocks as UCCS swatted eight shots and outrebounded the Wildcats 42-26.
Jazz Williams led Johnson & Wales with 13 points. The Wildcats went 17-14 a season ago.
Jones and Feilmeier each had eight points in a first half that saw UCCS open with a 9-0 lead. The Wildcats came back to tie it at 14 as Caton experimented with some personnel groupings. The Mountain Lions closed the period with a 16-3 run over the final 4:48 to go into the break leading 38-27.
"We brought in seven new guys, so giving them all an opportunity was good," said Caton. "Our talk in the locker room was making the most of what you get and being a positive impact for us coming off the bench whatever your roll is. Some guys are definitely doing that - that's good to see."
Isaac and Richards are two of those new guys.
"I loved it," said Isaac of his first game at Gallogly Events Center. "The crowd, the atmosphere. Coach teaches team unity, everybody play hard and play every game like it's your last. I think that's what we did tonight."
While UCCS never relinquished the lead, Johnson & Wales managed to trim it all the way down to 53-52 with 8:02 remaining. Isaac answered with a three-point play, followed by a Jones layup. After Ethan Everson hit a 3-pointer, but Feilmeier came back with a hard drive to the hoop and a 3-pointer to put UCCS up 63-55 with just under six minutes remaining.
The Wildcats whittled the edge back to two with 3:02 left but came up short on its next two possessions, squandering the opportunity to even the game. They paid for that failure as McClung hit a 3-pointer and four straight free throws to make it 71-63 with less than a minute remaining.
The Mountain Lions won't play at home again until Nov. 27, when they will face the Bethany Swedes at 5 p.m.
"We can only get better from here on out and I honestly feel, like it's going to be a great year at UCCS," said Isaac. "They had us ranked 10th in the (RMAC) polls. We're a team with a lot of motivation right now and we're real deep from one to 15."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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