The Colorado State University-Pueblo men’s basketball team started slow and eventually fell short Saturday night against #17 Mesa State, losing 78-64.
Mesa State opened up the game firing on all cylinders, shooting a magnificent 67 percent from both the field and beyond the arc.The Mavericks were paced by senior guard Mike Dominguez, who scored 17 of his 30 points in the first half.
Although the Mavericks were shooting lights out the ThunderWolves managed to keep pace and did not allow the lead to grow more than 16 points. CSU-Pueblo worked back to cut into the Mavericks’ first half lead, but trailed 45-36 at halftime.
“At the beginning of the game we locked in on what they were trying to do on offense, but as the half went on we kinda slipped up on defense,” said senior guard Marc Williams.
The ThunderWolves fought back furiously, led by Williams, going on a 16-7 run to start the half. CSU-Pueblo continued its run with energy from the crowd to tie the game at 52 at the 13:47 mark.
Then like a nail deflating a balloon the energy was lifted from the team as Mesa State buckled down and went on a 20-3 run led by a pair of 3-pointers from sophomore guard Brian Kenshalo.
“You can tell they’re working hard in practice everyday and executing. Once we start executing and playing defense we’ll be just as good,” said Williams.
The run all but sealed the game for Mesa State who improved to 14-1 overall, and a perfect 8-0 in RMAC play.
Mesa State cooled off some in the second half but still managed to shoot 55 percent overall and 60 percent from beyond the arc.
Williams finished as the ThunderWolves’ leading scorer with 20 points. Not much help could be found anywhere else as only 1 other player reached double digits (10 points – Chris Busch).
The loss drops the team to 5-4 in conference play and 10-6 overall, where the Pack is struggling to stay in the top-8, which guarantees the team a spot in the year-end conference tournament.