Mountain Lions Officially Eliminated from Postseason Contention

By Doug Fitzgerald published February 19, 2011

COLORADO SPRINGS - The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was officially eliminated from the Rocky Mountain Athletic conference playoffs Saturday evening after the Mountain Lions were beaten 82-79 by the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers at the Gallogly Events Center.

The game also clinched a playoff berth for Nebraska-Kearney, which improved to 12-13, 10-11 RMAC.

UCCS, which slipped to 8-16 on the season and 6-14 in RMAC play, nearly pulled off the most unlikely of comebacks.

The Mountain Lions had used a 15-7 run to turn a five-point deficit into  a 73-70 lead with 2:29 remaining. A pair of free throws by Akeem Morissaint cut it to one and, after a UCCS miss, Morissaint hit a 3-pointer to give the Lopers a two-points lead. Free throws grew the lead to 81-75 with just 13 seconds left.

UCCS' Brent Jones drove the length of the floor for a layup, after which Nebraska-Kearney had trouble inbounding the ball. Rather than take a five-second count, Morissaint called timeout.

It turned out to be a Chris Webber moment as the Lopers had no timeouts remaining. Ben Feilmeier made the two subsequent free throws to make it 81-79 with six seconds left.

Morissaint was fouled immediately following the inbounds pass, but missed the first of his two free throws, giving UCCS the ball with a chance to tie and five ticks left. Max Froehlich and Morissaint trapped, and then wrestled the ball away from UCCS' Luke Hristou before the Mountain Lions could get a shot off, ending the threat and UCCS' relevance in the postseason picture.

Mike Dentlinger led Nebraska-Kearney with 15 points and tied Drew Sankey for the team lead with six rebounds. Froehlich had eight points, five assists, three blocked shots and three steals, while Chris deans and Sankey added 11 and 10 points respectively.

It was Senior Night for UCCS and marked the final home game for Jones, Feilmeier, Rob Howe and Hristou.

"It's pretty sad; I have a lot of good memories here," said Feilmeier. "It hasn't really sunk in yet that I won't be coming out of that locker room anymore and running on the court."

Jones led the Mountain Lions with 21 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Feilmeier put down 17 points, Howe had nine points and six rebounds and Hristou added seven points and five assists. Sophomore Damar Hill added 12 points and six assists.

"I don't know how much (the seniors) feel as far as being successful, but they've done some great things here," said UCCS coach Russ Caton. "I commend them for their sacrifice to the program and it's been good to have those guys around. they're a great group of guys. I don't think I'd trade them for anyone. I've really come to enjoy coaching them and being around them.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Rob HoweRob Howe32FFr.
Rob HoweRob Howe21FSo.
Rob HoweRob Howe21F
Rob HoweRob Howe21FSr.
Luke HristouLuke Hristou35FSo.
Luke HristouLuke Hristou35F
Luke HristouLuke Hristou35F
Damar HillDamar Hill30G
Damar HillDamar Hill30G
Damar HillDamar Hill30G
Brent JonesBrent Jones10F
Brent JonesBrent Jones10FSr.
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