Hill Sets School Assists Record as Mountain Lions Beat Swedes
COLORADO SPRINGS - When Damar Hill was named a starter for the first time, he made a visit to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Sports Information office. The sophomore from Paramount, Calif., asked to see the school's assists records and confidently said he thought he would be able to get them all.
He chalked up the first one on Saturday.
Hill set a new school single-game assists record and Brent Jones scored 26 points as the Mountain Lions evened their record at 2-2 with a 93-90 victory over the Bethany Swedes Saturday evening at the Gallogly Events Center.
Jones also had a game-high 11 rebounds and made 12 of his 15 field goal attempts. The Mountain Lions shot 60 percent as a team, their highest mark since Jan. 10, 2009.
Hill was the catalyst of that shooting percentage with 13 assists. He broke Tre Carruthers' record of 12 which had stood since Jan. 27, 1997.
"Don't tell Damar that; we won't hear the end of it," said UCCS coach Russ Caton with a smile.
Then, more seriously, he added, "I don't doubt that he can do that more than once. He really has a great feel, a natural ability to find guys, and knows how to get them the ball."
For his part, Hill seemed almost embarrassed to have gotten the record.
"It feels good," he said. "My teammates were hitting shots. I was just being unselfish, penetrating to pass and it worked out."
Ben Feilmeier, Jordan McClung and Luke Hristou, all seniors like Jones, each added 15 points for the Mountain Lions.
"With the seniors and with Damar distributing the ball like he is, we make for a pretty tough team to stop offensively," said Caton.
A Gaileh Omar free throw with 1:43 broke the games 11th tie score and gave Bethany an 89-88 lead. UCCS answered with a three-point play by Jones to take the lead back at 91-89. Bethany's Vincent Ferguson missed the second of his two free throws to cut the gap to one. After a UCCS miss, Ferguson had a chance to put the Swedes in the lead with a five-foot hook shot, but the ball glanced off the front of the rim and was grabbed by Feilmeier, who was immediately fouled with nine seconds left.
Feilmeier made both free throws to put the Mountain Lions up 93-90. UCCS effectively pressure the Swedes, forcing them to settle for a contested 3-point attempt by Quentin Jennings that missed at the buzzer.
Trey Beachum led Bethany with 18 points. Ferguson and Clayton Goggins each added 17 and Jack Sadowy had 15. Ferguson led the Swedes with eight rebounds and four steals.
UCCS built leads of eight or more only to see them whittle away by Bethany three times. The Swedes shot 46.7 percent on 3-pointers and 46.3 percent overall.
"I'm going to give some credit; those guys were making some tough shots," said Jones. "(They made) some pull-up jumpers in people's faces and threes in people's faces. They were finishing everything it seemed like."
UCCS made 36-of-60 from the field, many of which were layups. The Mountain Lions dribble penetrated from the perimeter then either dropped a pass down into the low post or kicked it out for an open jumper.
"I thought this was the first time we played great offense," said Jones. "We found people in transition, found open layups, found good looks. Everything was clicking for us offensively."
UCCS will open its Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference schedule with a tough homestand against 4-0 Fort Lewis and 3-0 Adams State next weekend. Caton felt Saturday's game provided good preparation for that test.
"It was a fun home game; a good test for us against what I felt was a pretty solid team," said Caton. "It was good for us to get another chance to try some different lineups and give some other guys another opportunity before we get into conference next week and really try to nail those rotations down before that starts up."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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