Heydman's 25 leads UCCS to first win of season

By Doug Fitzgerald published November 18, 2011

COLORADO SPRINGS - Matt Heydman scored 22 of his 25 points in the first half as the University of Colorado Colorado Springs notched its first win of the season with a 91-77 victory over the Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggies Friday evening at the Gallogly Events Center.

Heydman also tied Jeff Isaac for the Mountain Lions rebounds lead with seven and Jake Darby for the assists lead with five.

"It's a great feeling, I have to admit that," said Heydman, whose career high in junior college had been 19 points. "But I have to give most of the credit to my teammates. They were getting me open, they were passing me the ball and I just happened to be knocking the shots down."

Heydman, a junior from Holcomb, Kan., played just 22 minutes in the game as UCCS coach Russ Caton used a lopsided score to evaluate his players.

"This is the last opportunity those guys get to try to prove themselves as far as games go about who we can use and who we can't," said Caton about his reserves. "It was good for us to get that out of (the game)."

Damar Hill added 18 points and four steals for the Mountain Lions (1-2). Isaac had nine points, while Jordan Carter and Alex Koehler each had eight.

Michael Patterson led OPSU (1-3) with 22 points. D'Ron Parker added 17 points and a game-high eight rebounds.

The Mountain Lions forced 15 first-half turnovers and shot 51.4 percent to lead by as many as 16 in the opening period. The halftime score was 47-33.

The lead grew to as many as 24 in the opening minutes of the second half. The Aggies chipped away at the gap as UCCS got 14 players in the game, 11 of whom played 10 or more minutes.

"I was a little disappointed with our bench guys," said Caton. "Instead of increasing the lead when I put those guys in there to save some legs, Panhandle (got) back into the game."

It started getting scary for the Mountain Lions as a 12-4 OPSU run got the Aggies to within six at 81-75 with two minutes remaining. At that point, Caton subbed starting point guard Hill back into the game and the junior from Paramount, Calif., took control, getting to the foul line on four of the final five possessions.

"He does a good job of controlling the game for us," Caton said about Hill. "You can see what one guy can do to change a game."

Hill even put the exclamation point on the game by bouncing the ball off the backboard to a charging Carter, who slammed it home.

It was the first day of the UCCS Classic. Earlier Friday Northwest Nazarene beat Wayne State 61-54. The Mountain Lions will face Wayne State oat 6 p.m. on Saturday, while Northwest Nazarene will play OPSU at 2 p.m. The UCCS women's team will also play Saturday with a 4 p.m. tipoff against West Texas A&M.

"It's good to get a win finally and get our guys a little confidence," said Caton. "It wasn't the prettiest game, but you can always learn from any game. We'll take what we can out of this.

"It was a great eye-opener for me seeing who was going to step in and work and help us and who wasn't. We got more out of it than just a win."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Damar HillDamar Hill30G
Damar HillDamar Hill30G
Damar HillDamar Hill30G
Matt HeydmanMatt Heydman13G/FJr.
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