Mountain Lions lose second game of PSU-Chatters Classic
Saturdayâ€TMs 72-51 loss to Pittsburg State dropped the University of Colorado at Colorado State Mountain Lions to 0-3 for the young 2003-04 season. It also continued an education that they hope yields results when they get into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference portion of their schedule.
The Mountain Lions are still trying to put together a complete game. Against Eastern New Mexico, the free throw shooting was a miserable 45 percent. Against Southwest Baptist, they committed 27 turnovers. Saturday, Pittsburg State got far too many easy baskets in the paint.
Against all three, CU-Colorado Springsâ€TM shooting was bad, deteriorating into atrocious at times.
â€œOur big thing right now is that weâ€TMre trying to work the ball around and get a good shot,â€ said Elise Hazelwood, who played junior college at Hesston College, 30 miles north of Wichita, Kan. â€œOur defensive intensity is so high that I think we might not be changing pace enough to run our offense.â€
Despite the problems, the improvement has been steady. The Mountain Lionsâ€TM pressure defense has caused turnovers and forced bad shots. They have improved their ball control and reduced turnovers. They have steadily improved from the free throw line.
â€œEach game we set a new goal,â€ said Hazelwood. â€œWe look at the free throws and the turnovers and say â€˜letâ€TMs get five fewer turnoversâ€TM or whatever. Pittsburg State scored 85 points in their first game, so our goal was to hold them down on defense.â€
But the Mountain Lions couldnâ€TMt make enough of their shots to stay in the game. They shot 29 percent in the first half and trailed 33-23. They did better in the second half, shooting 42.3 percent.
But when the Gorillas werenâ€TMt turning the ball over because of the CU-Colorado Springs trap, they were able to get easy access to the paint. Janelle Klein made her first nine shots, none from more than 15 feet. Her Pittsburg State teammates followed suit as the Gorillas shot 54.2 percent as a team.
Klein finished with 22 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Katie Speiker added 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting, while Stephanie Sahanline and Kami Scrivner each had 10 points.
â€œWe went to a new full-court defense. We tried to trap whenever we had the opportunity,â€ said Hazelwood, who led the Mountain Lions with seven rebounds and added six points. â€œIt was successful a lot of the time, but whenever you have a risky defense in the front court, you have to have a lot of hustle back when it breaks down.â€
The Mountain Lions were led by B.J. McNeallyâ€TMs 20 points. Julie Richards and Jennine Sauter each had seven points.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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