COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Despite season-highs in points, field goals made, three-pointers made and overall shooting percentage, the Western New Mexico University men’s basketball team couldn’t quite upset No. 9/12 UC-Colorado Springs as the Mountain Lions held on for the 103-91 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference victory Friday night.
It was a banner offensive game for WNMU (2-16, 2-12 RMAC) as the team connected on 33-of-55 (60), drilled 14-of-25 (56) from three and tallied 91 points, all new season-highs. Terrez Scott (Santa Clarita, CA/Valencia) and Gavin Wood (Florence, AZ/Florence ) connected on four three-pointers apiece as all five Mustang starters reached double-digits in scoring and all five made a three-pointer.
The Mustangs were within striking distance throughout most of the game, as the score changed hands four times and was tied five times. WNMU took their first lead of the game three minutes in on a three-pointer by Brandon Tanter (Long Beach, CA/Los Angeles Prep) for the 10-9 advantage.
Steven Loucks (Yuma, AZ/Cibola) would help tie the game for the fourth and fifth time with a three to knot the game at 13 and then a jumper to re-tie the game at 15. Tanter pushed WNMU back in front with a layup at the 11:41 mark for a 17-16 lead.
Although UCCS (18-2, 12-2 RMAC) would stretch the lead to double-digits over parts of the first half, the Mustangs whittled the lead back down to five thanks to a three by Wood and a free throw by Tanter with two minutes to go before the break. The Mountain Lions closed the half on an 8-3 run to take a 48-38 lead into the locker room.
UCCS would continue their scoring pace in the second half, but WNMU kept it close coming back to within eight multiple times. Adam Kesler (Silver City, NM/Silver) sank a three of his own near the midway point of the second stanza leaving the Mountain Lions in front, 74-66. That would end up being as close as the Mustangs would get the rest of the way cutting it back to nine a few times before UCCS extended the lead back to double-digits.
Marcos Castrillo (San Francisco, CA/Pinole Valley) paced WNMU with 21 points. Loucks tallied 15, Wood and Scott posted 14 apiece and Tanter collected 12 points. Tyler Shea (Rancho Cucamunga, CA/Alta Loma) came off the bench to score eight points and tied Loucks for the team-high in rebounds with four. Scott dished out a team-high eight assists.
Derrick White again went for a double-double to lead the way for UCCS with 38 points and 11 assists. The game featured just 14 combined turnovers and 66 made field goals.
WNMU will play at Colorado State University-Pueblo Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. The ThunderWolves bested New Mexico Highlands, 77-67, earlier tonight.