UCCS Comes Up Just Short of Overtime in Loss
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The University of Colorado Colorado Springs (3-15 / 3-11 RMAC) was 2.8 seconds away from an overtime period that never happened in its 81-80 loss to Western New Mexico University (7-11 / 6-8 RMAC) at the Gallogly Events Center.
The UCCS men started off much the same as the women jumping out to a 12-2 lead to open the game.
That lead was short lived however as Western New Mexico came roaring back to tie the game at 36-36 going into the break.
Alex Welsh had a tremendous first-half with nine points and seven rebounds for UCCS.
What better way to end the much anticipated blackout night than to have the final seconds decide the outcome.
With 36.8 seconds left UCCS forced a crucial turnover diving out of bounds as he slung the ball backwards over his head to teammate Darius Pardner who was then immediately fouled and sent to the line.
A pair of Pardner free throws later and UCCS was within one at 77-78. Forced to foul, UCCS sent Lucio Luttrell to the line where he made a pair to make it 77-80. UCCS then had one last possession to complete the comeback and send it to overtime. After running sometime off the clock Pardner pulled for a 3-pointer that came off the rim and fell into Derrick White's hands. White took one step back and got his defender in the air with a pump fake before drawing a foul with 2.8 seconds remaining.
You could hear a pin drop as White stepped to the free throw line for three attempts. Then, like he's done a million times at practice, White made all three free throws and tied that score at 80 all.
However, like a bad ending to a movie, it was not to be. Western New Mexico threw the ball the length of the floor to Chad Carter who was fouled on an undercut by Neiman Lee. Even with the roar of the UCCS crowd set to full blast Carter managed to make the first attempt, which was all the Mustangs needed. The second attempt missed and only gave UCCS enough time for a desperation full court shot.
Welsh collected another business-like double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while White (14), Pardner (13) and Carter (10) were among the high point players for UCCS.
Ryan Crane can be attributed with keeping the Mustangs in the game by way of his 24 points, including his six-of-seven accuracy from 3-point land.
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