It should be easy to get the motivation to play a crucial RMAC conference game late in the season. Especially when only the top four seeds in each division are eligible for postseason play.
The Colorado State University-Pueblo men’s basketball team found its motivation Thursday night, defeating Western New Mexico University, 82-58.
The game on paper was supposed to be closer than the final score indicated, but the ThunderWolves (12-8, 7-6 RMAC) dominated every facet of the game to come up with a crucial conference victory against the Mustangs (7-12, 6-6).
“We needed this game to get back in the fourth spot so it was a big win,” said junior forward Daniel Pierce.
The ThunderWolves jumped out to a quick lead, going on a 10-0 run to start the game. The Mustangs poor first half shooting, 5 of 23, combined with the Packs ability to get many second chance opportunities, led to a 39-20 lead going into the break.
“We jumped on them early and at halftime all of us wanted to get the lead up to get the younger guys some minutes,” Pierce said.
The ThunderWolves did just that. A 19 point halftime swing quickly turned into a game that was played with a 20 point cushion most of the second half. This lead allowed the Pack to rest most of its starters and allowed some younger players the chance to get playing time.
Although the second half was relatively quiet, sophomore guard Ty Trahern was able to bring the crowd to its feet on two highlight dunks. The more impressive occurred when junior guard Kris Lawrie found Trahern cutting from the baseline allowing Trahern to finish with an enthusiastic jam.
The ThunderWolves will play their final two home games of the season after an eight-day layoff when Adams State College and Fort Lewis College visit Massari Arena to play the Pack February 12 and 13.