‘Pokes go to 8-1

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Thomas Manzano and Mindaugas Markevicius combined for 45 points this past Saturday night in New Mexico Highlands’ 99-87 victory over Colorado State-Pueblo — the Cowboys’ eighth win in nine games this season.

NMHU and coach Joe Harge also won on Friday, a  94-69 thrashing of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

The Cowboys (8-1 overall, 5-1 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) are off until Dec. 30, when they travel to Phoenix to play Grand Valley State. Then on Jan. 2, they play at league foe Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo.

On Saturday, Manzano went seven of 14 from the floor and seven of eight from the free-throw line to tally a game-high 23 points. Markevicius nailed three 3-point baskets and swished 11 foul shots in 13 tries to score 22. Mike Moody’s 10 points and 10 rebounds gave him a double-double.

Aggressive in attacking the basket in the first half, the Cowboys drew plenty of contact and made good on the foul line, hitting 17 of 19 free throws. That made the difference in a good shooting first half for both clubs, and the ‘Pokes took a 51-35 advantage at halftime.

Overall, Highlands went 34 for 45 from the charity stripe, complementing a 52 percent field goal accuracy.

On Friday, Manzano and Markevicius each scored 18 and Moody added 12 points and eight rebounds as the Cowboys dropped UCCS.

NMHU shot 52 percent for the game and was particularly effective in the first half, connecting on a 58 percent clip in grabbing a 46-27 advantage by the half. A Markevicius 3-ball gave Highlands a 76-43 lead — its largest — with 10:02 left.