UCCS has lost and found night in falling to Wayne State
COLORADO SPRINGS - It was a game of lost and found.
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs lost its game Saturday evening, a 67-61 decision to the Wayne State Wildcats at the Gallogly Events Center.
The Mountain Lions also found an important piece to its long-term success.
George Pollard came into the game having just eight minutes in three games this season. In 20 minutes Saturday, the junior scored 18 points, had four steals and three assists. he made five of his 10 field goal attempts, including 4-for-7 from 3-point range, and converted all four of his free throws.
The outing had its genesis in a long, heart-to-heart between Pollard and UCCS coach Russ Caton after Friday's game.
"I just asked him if I could get an opportunity to play," said Pollard. "Today I got my shot and tried to make the best of it."
He did exactly that and was singled out by Caton as one of the team's bright spots.
Matt Heydman also scored 18 points but a five-minute second-half lull and an effective power game by Wayne State sent UCCS to its third loss in four games this season.
Behind a 24-point, nine-rebound outing by Amry Shelby, Wayne State (1-2) got the ball inside to shoot 57.1 percent from the field. The Wildcats also outrebounded UCCS 33-21.
"They played a physical game and didn't give you a whole lot of second chances," said Caton.
The Mountain Lions erased a nine-point deficit, taking their first lead at 30-29 with 1:07 left in the first half. The built the lead to 41-35 with 13:34 remaining in the game.
Over the next five minutes, UCCS committed four turnovers and missed all five of their field goal attempts to give Wayne State little option but to go on an 11-0 run. The Mountain Lions trimmed the gap to three points three times but was never able to get closer the rest of the way.
Alan Paul led UCCS (1-3) with five assists, while Jordan Carter had a team-best five rebounds.
Heydman and Pollard combined to shoot 57.1 percent from the field, including 50 percent on 3-pointers. The rest of the Mountain Lions shot a combined 25 percent overall and 27.3 percent on 3-pointers.
Derrell Williams added 16 points for the Wildcats and Vontrell Seroyer had four assists.
"It was another game on our home floor that we let get away from us," said Caton. "Inconsistency has been our biggest nightmare. We have guys who play well one night and don't show up at all the next night. The bench doesn't show up one night and then shows up the next. Maybe those are signs of a team of a new team with a bunch of new guys."
That's a valid point. After all, the Mountain Lions returned just four players from last year's team and are still getting to know each other. It's also important to note that the last two times UCCS went to the playoffs (2008-09 and 2009-10), they started the season 0-7 and 0-5 respectively.
"We're still two games away from conference and that's ultimately where we want to be playing better basketball," said Caton Saturday. And then he added with a laugh, "we don't have to worry about peaking too early, that's for sure."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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