Regis beats Mountain Lions 53-43

By Mike McNeely published December 20, 2004

The effort was back for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Monday night in the Lions Den against the Regis Rangers.

After a lackadaisical performance Saturday afternoon against Metro State, the Mountain Lions once again proved they can play with anybody in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Regis trailed by seven at the half before beating CU-Colorado Springs 53-43.

The Mountain Lions defense was up to its old tricks of frustrating the opponentâ€TMs offense with hard-nose pressure. Although the Rangers jumped out to an early 7-2 lead and led most of the first half, their potent offense was anything but clicking.

“For the first 20 minutes we played outstanding defense against a terrific shooting team,” said CU-Colorado Springs coach Marty Fletcher.

CU-Colorado Springs went on a 9-2 run over the final 3:00 of the first half and was up 25-18 at the break.

It was a familiar situation for the Rangers who found themselves down 30-19 at the half this past Saturday at New Mexico Highlands. Regis bounced back in the second half of that game, shooting 72 percent, en route to a double-digit win. Monday was quite similar.

After being stymied in the first half, shooting just 25 percent, the Rangers heated up in the second, shooting 45.5 percent.

“They really elevated their offensive game in the second half,” said Fletcher.

The Rangers also switched to a zone defense in the second half that seemed to baffle the Mountain Lions for the first few possessions. Regis took full advantage completely erasing Mountain Lions lead with a 16-2 blitz to go up 37-30 with 12:03 to go. The Mountain Lions slowly chipped their way back into the game before tying it at 37-37 on a Julie Richards lay-up with nine minutes left. But the Mountain Lions could manage just six points the rest of the way.

CU-Colorado Springsâ€TM defense shut down Regisâ€TM top two leading scorers. Diana Lopez, who came into the night leading the RMAC in scoring at 20.7 points per game, was held to just 12 points, seven of which came from the foul line. Lindsay Viall, too, was held well below her scoring average, with just eight points. But while CU-Colorado Springs was keying on those two, it left openings for other players.

Denise Lopez, Dianaâ€TMs twin sister, responded with a game-high 18 points. Denise Lopez, who only was 3-of-13 on 3-pointers coming into the game, was 4-for-5 Monday including one with 0:35 remaining that stifled a late Mountain Lion comeback bid.

“She made good shots,” said Fletcher. "Weâ€TMll give her credit for that.”

Emily Jenkins had 13 points and six rebounds for CU-Colorado Springs while Julie Richards had 11 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.

“We played a fine basketball game but it wasnâ€TMt good enough to beat a really good basketball team.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Julie RichardsJulie Richards40CSo
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