|CANYON, Texas (November 24, 2018) – Lubbock Christian University’s Brennen Fowler (27) and Isaac Asrat (24) combined for 51 points and they helped the Chaparrals hold off a furious comeback attempt by Colorado State University – Pueblo en route to a 89-79 LCU win in the final game of the Pak-A-Sak Thanksgiving Classic Saturday night inside First United Bank Center.
LCU’s Kobe Thompson hit an inside shot with 7:40 left in the game to give LCU a 76-61 lead, but the ThunderWolves stormed back with Dalen Jackson and Donovan Oldham hitting back-to-back three-pointers to ignite a 15-0 run. Free-throws by Oldham tied the game at 76-76 with 3:45 left. LCU, who never trailed, prevented a CSU-Pueblo lead with Kentton Williams ending the run with a bucket underneath the basket. Williams field goal revived the Chaps and they closed the game 13-3 run, which included scoring the final seven points of the game.
The Chaps, who had slow starts in their prior two games this season in Canyon, came sprinting out of the gates in the first half Saturday. Asrat hit a pair of three-pointers in the opening three minutes to give LCU an 8-0 lead to start the game. Five of the combined first six field goals were three-pointers. Fowler joined the mix with a triple in between ThunderWolves “threes” and the score was quickly 11-6 Chaps four minutes into the game. Jackson nailed a pull-up three-pointer for CSU-Pueblo to cap a 10-2 run, which tied the game at 13-13. The momentum was stolen away by Silas Crisler and Cameron Copley, who went back-to-back with three-pointers and produced an 8-0 LCU run for a 21-13 lead eight minutes in.
Copley, producing a career-high eight points, hit a second three-pointer in the first half to spur a 7-0 run and it built LCU’s lead to 35-19. They led as much as 43-26 before taking 46-35 lead into the locker room at the half.
CSU-Pueblo outscored LCU 15-6 over a stretch carrying over the halftime to cut LCU’s lead to 50-43, but LCU answered back with a 7-0 run capped by a Fowler slam. LCU was able to build the lead up to 71-53 (11:28 remaining) before Pueblo rallied late.
The two squads rode the wave of runs with success from long range. The two teams combined for 20 three-pointers, with 11 made by the ThunderWolves (six different players). LCU was 8-of-15 (53.3%) from three-point range in the first half, but then went 1-of-7 (14.3%) in the second half. They finished the game 40.9% (9-of-22) from long distance.
The Chaps shot 54.1% (33/61) overall in the game. They were 61.5% (24/31) for the game inside the arc, going 15-of-22 (68.2%) inside the arc in the second half. Fowler posted a season-high 27 points off a 11-of-19 shooting performance. He also had nine rebounds for a third consecutive game. Asrat also posted a season high with 24 points, going 4-of-6 from long range. Kobe Thompson joined the “high” trend, scoring a career high 15 points, with 11 produced in the second half. Williams joined Fowler, Asrat and Thompson in double figures with 10 points.
CSU-Pueblo, dropping to 2-4, also had four players finish with at least 10 points. Jackson and Galen Phillips each had 18 to lead the ThunderWolves, while Oldham used 12 points in the second half for 14 points in the game and Jason Anderson added 13 points. They finished the game 39.3% from long range (11/28) and 49% (25/51) from the field.
LCU improved to 5-2 with the victory. The meeting with CSU-Pueblo was the first since the 1977-78 season (all-time series now tied 1-1). Fowler claimed Pak-A-Sak All-Tournament Team honors for the weekend, averaging 21.5 points and nine rebounds in the two games.
LCU was able to prevail despite the 15-0 ThunderWolves run, as the Chaps hit an offensive dry spell missing four straight shots and producing two turnovers during the run. LCU had a stretch where they were 2-of-9 from the field with under 10 minutes left in the game. Meanwhile, CSU-Pueblo went an 11-minutes stretch in which they did not miss consecutive shot attempts, going 12-of-18 (67%) during the span. The tide shifted once the game was tied 76-76, as LCU closed the game 4-of-5 from the field and CSU-Pueblo was 0-of-5 and without a field goal over the final 4:42 of the game.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Chaps produced a 48-24 advantage in points in the paint and also had a 34-25 rebound advantage, with eight offensive rebounds leading to a 14-2 scoring advantage in second chance points.
Saturday’s game against the ThunderWolves put LCU at 3-0 on the season against RMAC schools. It was also their final game before conference play arrives, as LCU opens their Heartland Conference schedule Thursday hosting Dallas Baptist University at 7 p.m. inside Rip Griffin Center.