Division I Bears too much for Mountain Lions

By Mike McNeeley published January 6, 2004

The Northern Colorado Bears are headed to NCAA Division I. For 15 minutes Tuesday night, they were headed for trouble.

B.J. McNeally scored 12 points as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (3-7) Mountain Lions gave Northern Colorado all it could handle for most of the first half before succumbing 56-43 at Butler-Hancock Hall in Greeley, Colo.

A jumper by McNeally gave CU-Colorado Springs an 18-16 with 3:48 left in the first half, but that would prove to be the Mountain Lionsâ€TM final hurrah. Northern Colorado (10-6) finished the half with an 11-0 run, aided by six CU-Colorado Springs turnovers.

Turnovers were a problem for CU-Colorado Springs all night long. The Mountain Lions committed 27 turnovers for the game leading to 27 Northern Colorado points.

“We werenâ€TMt focusing on fundamentals,” said Janine Ota who scored eight points and had four rebounds. “We made a lot of little mistakes.”

After an Elise Hazelwood layup cut the lead to seven with 15:25 remaining in the game, Northern Colorado went on another run. This time, the cold-shooting Mountain Lions missed five consecutive field goal attempts while the Bears made five straight in reeling off 15 unanswered points.

The deficit grew as large as 24 points before the Mountain Lions closed the game with a confidence building 14-3 run.

Christina Merritt grabbed a team-high eight rebounds while starting for a suspended Meghan McGee.

Point guard Bailey Dillon led Northern Colorado with 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting, including making all four of her 3-point attempts. Cindy McCarroll came off the Bearsâ€TM bench to record 13 rebounds and six assists, both game highs.

“There are a lot of little things we need to do better,” said Ota. “If we can do that, things will start coming together.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

BJ McNeallyBJ McNeally10GJr.
B.J. McNeallyB.J. McNeally10GSr.
Christina MerrittChristina Merritt23FFr.
Christina MerrittChristina Merritt23FSo
Elise HazelwoodElise Hazelwood31CSr
Elise HazlewoodElise Hazlewood31CJr.
Meghan McgeeMeghan Mcgee41FJr.
Meghan McGeeMeghan McGee41FSr
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