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Mountain Lions take advantage of second-half letdown to down ThunderWolves

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By Josiah Rodriguez

It was a tale of two halves for the CSU-Pueblo men’s basketball team in an 89-87 overtime loss to University of Colorado at Colorado Springs at Massari Arena Saturday.

With the clock winding down and the game knotted up at 73-73, senior Kris Lawrie had the ball in his hands and drove to the rim through two defenders, only to see the buzzer-beater rim out right before his eyes. It was the perfect ending to a game that wasn’t for the ThunderWolves.

Photo by Bill Sabo, ProAction Foto.
In overtime, the Mountain Lions made ten free-throw conversions and were led by Brent Jones and Ben Feilmeier in scoring. Jones was the main reason for keeping the Mountain Lions out of deep waters, scoring a game-high 27 points. Feilmeier followed with 18 points.

The ThunderWolves led the entire first half and early into the second half with shutdown defense that produced nine turnovers and 14 first-half points from junior Nathan Tigner. Tigner led the ThunderWolves with 20 points and seven assists.

Tigner provided some fireworks for the Pack faithful in the first half with an over-the-shoulder pass to Martin who shook the rim with a thunderous dunk for the ThunderWolves. The dunk ignited an 8-0 run for the ThunderWolves and helped give them a 36-28 first half lead.

When the second half rolled around, the 7-14 Mountain Lions did everything right on both ends of the court to ensure a victory, outshooting the ThunderWolves 56 percent to 52 percent winning the rebound department 37-25 in the game.

The Mountain Lions took advantage of numerous ThunderWolves breakdowns of their own.

“We made some bad defensive mistakes,” said head coach Pat Eberhart about the Mountain Lions comeback in the second half. When the ThunderWolves did anything right on offense, Eberhart said the Mountain Lions “just kept responding.”

A pair of Alan Paul 3-pointers and an 8-1 run gave the Mountain Lions their first lead of the game at 48-47. Paul scored 12 points in the game.

The ThunderWolves were able regain a lead that was lost nearly the entire second half after Kris Lawrie went one for two from the fee-throw line, giving the Pack a 71-70 lead.

When it came down to it, the ThunderWolves could not contain a ferocious Mountain Lion offense that came alive in overtime.

“We just didn’t get the stops when we needed to get them,” Eberhart said about the overtime breakdown.

Senior Ty Trahern helped the ThunderWolves off the bench with six points and Daniel Pierce was third in scoring for the Pack finishing with 15 points.

The ThunderWolves travel to Fort Lewis and Adams State next weekend before they finish their home schedule February 18 and 19 against Nebraska-Kearney and Chadron State, respectively.