Mountain Lions blow big lead, lose to Highlands

By Mike McNeeley published February 6, 2004

This was one they were supposed to win.

One they probably should have won.

But unfortunately for the Mountain Lions, it ended up being one that slipped away.

The University of at Colorado Springs (8-11, 6-6 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) blew a 19-point second-half lead en route to a 70-67 loss to the New Mexico Highlands Cowgirls (6-14, 3-9) Friday night in Las Vegas, N.M.

The loss snapped the Mountain Lions' season-long three-game winning streak and dropped them back to .500 in conference play.

Janine Ota led the Mountain Lions with 17 points and five assists. Highlands was led by Tara Podpahâ€TMs game-high 29 points. Podpah shot just 6-for-21 from the floor, but went to the foul line and eye-popping 21 times, hitting 17.

Things seemed to being going so right for the Mountain Lions in the first half.

Despite shooting just 28.9 percent, CU-Colorado Springs led at the break 31-19. The Mountain Lions played efficient basketball in the first, forcing the Cowgirls into 12 turnovers while committing only 3.

The Mountain Lions kept rolling to start half No. 2.

Meghan McGee gave CU-Colorado Springs its biggest lead, 46-27, with a 3-pointer with 15:02 remaining. Then it all turned around.

Highlands scored 16 of the next 18 points and cut the lead to 48-43 with 9:13 left. The Cowgirls continued to chip away at the lead then eventually tied it at 58-58, not surprisingly on a Podpah free-throw. The Mountain Lions answered on the next trip down with a McGee 3-pointer. A Shannon Salway layup and four more Podpah free-throws gave Highlands the lead 64-62 at 2:20.

The Mountain Lions tied it a 67-67 with 37 seconds to go. More free throws from - you guessed it - Podpah put the game away as CU-Colorado Springs came up empty on its final two chances.

Twelve of Highlands' final 16 points came on Podpah free-throws.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Meghan McgeeMeghan Mcgee41FJr.
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