Richards breaks record in loss
GOLDEN, Colo. â€" Julie Richards broke the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs career blocked shot record and added 18 points, but the Mountain Lions were unable to overcome the red-hot Colorado School of Mines Orediggers and a huge rebounding disparity in a 51-40 loss Friday night at Volk Gymnasium.
Richards broke Corrissa Johnsonâ€TMs record of 119 career blocks in the gameâ€TMs opening minutes. She went on to add five more blocks to give the junior from Colorado Springs 125 for her career.
â€œI wasnâ€TMt aware of that,â€ said a surprised Richards when told she had broken the record. â€œIts an honor to have the record. Itâ€TMs fun to block shots.â€
Minesâ€TM 6-foot-3 center Ashley Gronewoller grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds as the Orediggers outrebounded the Mountain Lions by the unbelievable margin of 46-19.
Mines (10-2, 5-0 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) entered the game with an eight-game winning streak and a ton of momentum. CU-Colorado Springs (4-6, 1-4 RMAC) seemed unimpressed, keeping the game close until the foul count took a bite.
With just over 11 minutes remaining in the game, Richards picked up her fourth foul. With Richards and Jennine Sauter each just a single foul away from disqualification and Emily Jenkins out with a sprained ankle, the Mountain Lions found themselves perilously depleted in the post.
With CU-Colorado Springs using a rotation of small forwards to augment overworked Caroline Ottino in the post, Mines repeatedly pounded the ball inside. Forwards Kristen Horkey and Gina Cornelio led Mines with 15 and 11 points respectively, while Gronewaller added nine.
â€œThe momentum changed (after her fourth foul),â€ said Richards. â€œThey went inside a lot, but we also didnâ€TMt finish offensively. If we had, it would have stayed close.â€
The Mountain Lions wasted an opportunity to blow the game open in the first half when a sterling defensive effort was offset by 35 percent shooting and a 19-11 rebounding deficit. Mines returned the favor by making only four of their 10 free throws. The result was a 20-19 Mines lead at the half with both teams feeling like they had inadvertently threw away a winning lottery ticket.
â€œDefensively we did really well,â€ said Richards. â€œOffensively, we needed to execute better.â€
CU-Colorado Springs hurt itself with a pair of technical fouls, each when the Mountain Lions had a four-point lead. The first came after CU-Colorado Springs guard Nicole Opfereman was flattened by an errant elbow while trapping a Mines player. Coach Marty Fletcher assured his team, no doubt for the officialsâ€TM benefit, that the next time one of his players was elbowed a foul would be called.
Not only was Fletcher Tâ€TMd up, he was also wrong. Janine Ota was elbowed early in the second half, but the official instead called Otaâ€TMs retaliatory contact. She received her technical for protesting the call by using â€˜colorfulâ€TM language.
Stephanie Sauter had five points and four rebounds for CU-Colorado Springs, which stunningly made her the second highest scorer and the top rebounder on the team. She also had four steals.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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