Mountain Lions end season with yet another heartbreaker

By Mike McNeeley published February 28, 2004

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (10-17, 7-12 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) saw its season come to an end with a heartbreaking 55-52 loss to the Mesa State Mavericks (16-10, 12-6) Friday night in Grand Junction.

The Mountain Lions defense dominated Mesa State in the first half. The Mavericks, who came in the game shooting 40 percent from the floor, shot just 17.1 percentover the first 20 minuets. CU-Colorado Springs shot more than double that, 38.7 percent, and led at the break 34-23.

The Mountain Lions led by as many as 14, but the Mavericks were able to stay in the game at the charity stripe. Mesa State was awarded 14 first-half free-throws, the Mountain Lions just four. The free-throw shooting trend continued in the second half. For the game Mesa State was 24-for-31 at the line, the Mountain Lions only 6-for-7.

Mesa State opened the second half hitting four of its first five shots, going on a 10-0 run to cut the Mountain Lions lead to 34-33. A few moments later Mesa tied the game at 37-37 on a Megan Langstaff jumper with 12:30 to go. The Mountain Lions, again thanks to hard work on the defensive end, were able to take the lead back and held it until the 4:40 mark when a Natalie Rogers offensive rebound and put back gave Mesa State 46-45 edge. It was the Mavericks first lead since 7-6.

The Mountain Lions answered back with a 5-0 spurt that included a Sauter lay-up and a Meghan McGee 3-pointer, giving them a 50-46 lead with 3:36 remaining. Mesa State scored the next eight points, five of which game from the free-throw line, to lead 54-50 with 0:18 to go. McNeally cut the lead to two with a lay-up but her 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game didn't go down.

Seniors McGee and McNeally combined for 20 points 10 rebounds and seven hand-outs in thier final game.

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