Posted: Mar 2, 2010 11:23 PM
Updated: Mar 2, 2010 11:23 PM
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The CSU-Pueblo men's basketball team did something Tuesday night no team in RMAC history has done - claimed road playoff wins in back-to-back seasons against the same team. The ThunderWolves upset the 23rd-ranked Mesa State Mavericks on their home court, 73-65, earning a trip to the RMAC Shootout Friday night at the Colorado State Fair Events Center in Pueblo.
CSU-Pueblo used a 20-7 run in the second half, breaking up a back-and-forth affair, and turning a 44-41 Mesa State at the 15:30 mark of the second half into a 61-51 ThunderWolf lead at the 5:55 mark, leaving the ThunderWolves very close to claiming the win.
With the win, the ThunderWolves scored road wins in back-to-back seasons for just the second time in RMAC history, matching the feat of another ThunderWolf squad, Joe Folda's 1997 and 1998 teams, which earned back-to-back road wins during those seasons. CSU-Pueblo's win also marks the first time since the ThunderWolves' 1998 playoff victory over Metro State that the Pack had defeated a top-25 team, snapping a 22-game losing streak against ranked opponents.
CSU-Pueblo will return to Pueblo, albeit the "neutral court" of the Colorado State Fair Events Center, where it will face the team that bounced the ThunderWolves from the RMAC Shootout last season -- RMAC East Division champions, Metro State. The Pack men will tip off at 1 p.m. Friday.