COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – University of Colorado Colorado Springs senior guard Justin Smith scored 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Mountain Lions to a 95-68 victory against Johnson & Wales. UCCS (2-1) shot 59 percent from the field and outrebounded the Wildcats (0-5) 42-16.
UCCS trailed for nine seconds early in the game and broke away after a 14-3 run during a six-minute stretch midway through the first half for a 36-23 lead. Johnson & Wales put together seven straight points and cut the Mountain Lion lead down to seven points at 39-32. UCCS maintained the seven-point advantage at the halftime, 43-36. Both teams shot at or greater than 50 percent in the first half.
The Mountain Lions started the second half on a 12-2 run for a 38-55 lead, and limited the Wildcats to one field goal in the first eight minutes to build a 66-41 advantage. UCCS lead by more than 20 points for the remainder of the game and shot 66 percent in the second half in the 27-point victory.
Smith split his 24 points evenly between each half and finished 10-for-12 from the field with four free throws. Dalton Walker scored 11 of his 16 points in the first half and Jonathan Barnes added 11 points with a perfect five-for-five from the field and one free throw. Smith led three Mountain Lions who recorded five or more rebounds. Elijah Ross, the RMAC Offensive Player of the Week, led both teams with a career-high 10 assists.
UCCS will remain at home for a Friday matchup against Nebraska-Kearney. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m., in the Gallogly Events Center.