Sauter's big night helps Stratton win her coaching opener

By Doug Fitzgerald published November 18, 2005

ALAMOSA â€" Jennine Sauter scored 35 points, the second-highest total in school history, as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs gave Jessika Stratton a victory in her first game as coach of the Mountain Lions, 76-72 over the Pittsburg State Gorillas Friday night.

Sauter did everything for UCCS (1-0). She made 15 of her 21 field goal attempts, grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds, had a game-high five steals and blocked two shots.

“I havenâ€TMt felt this good in three years. This is the most amazing feeling,” said Sauter. “Itâ€TMs the best feeling to have a team like this; have a coach like this.”

The win was the opening game of the Best Western Alamosa Inn Classic. Immediately afterwards, host Adams State played West Texas A&M, whom the Mountain Lions will play Saturday.

Sauter had 18 of her 25 first-half points in the first nine minutes as the Mountain Lions built a 20-11 lead.

Coming into the game, UCCS senior center Julie Richards figured to pull triple duty since the Gorillas had the ability to throw three big post players, 6-foot-1 Tracy Patry, 6-0 Maggie Apt and 6-1 Emily Sloan, at her. With 15 fouls to give, Pittsburg State could afford to be aggressive. Richards could not.

“When Julieâ€TMs not in there, we have to pack it in more,” said Sauter. “We have to help down low on the post because we donâ€TMt have the advantage of having a big person down there that dominates on defense.”

Richards picked up her second foul of the half at the 14:18 mark, one of seven consecutive fouls called against UCCS. With Richards on the bench, Pittsburg State repeatedly pounded the ball inside with great effect, eventually tying the game at 22.

A Sauter 3-pointer gave UCCS a 31-28 halftime lead.

Richards and Stephanie Sauter, Jennineâ€TMs sister, came up big in the second half. Richards scored eight of her 10 points, mostly in the paint, in the period while Sauter made 4-of-6 3-pointers. She finished with 14 points.

The Mountain Lions built the lead to 71-54 with five minutes remaining when Pittsburg State (1-1) found its second wind. The Gorillas made six of their next eight shots to reel off a 13-0 run.

“We knew we had to get a couple of big stops,” said Jennine Sauter. “It came close, but we held tough.”

A Richards hook shot was answered by a Maggie Apt layup. Jennine Sauter blocked a shot, which led to free throw by teammate Maribeth Martinez that put UCCS up 74-69. After Pittsbug State missed a jumper, Martinez added two more free throws.

Kara Kinney, who led the Gorillas with 27 points, hit a 3-pointer with one second left to provide the final margin.

Down the stretch, the Mountain Lions got key contributions from the bench. Crystal Armendarez powered for a momentum stopping layup. Mackenzie Knobbe nailed a clutch 3-pointer.

“I told the girls at halftime that (Pittsburg State) was going to go after Jennine,” said Stratton. “We needed to make sure that we got production from everybody.”

Sauterâ€TMs scoring performance was second in UCCS history only to Amber Andersonâ€TMs 37-point effort against Air Force on Feb. 22, 1994.

“Iâ€TMm proud of the girls - they executed and did exactly what they were supposed to do,” said Stratton. “They adjusted at halftime and they held on. When the game was on the line, they stepped up.”

And what about the first game, and win, of her coaching career?

“I was pretty relaxed before the game,” said Stratton. “I got more nervous as the game went on.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jennine SauterJennine Sauter21FFr.
Jennine SauterJennine Sauter21FSo
Jennine SauterJennine Sauter21FJr.
Jennine SauterJennine Sauter21FSr.
Mackenzie KnobbeMackenzie Knobbe33GSo
Mackenzie KnobbeMackenzie Knobbe34GFr.
Mackenzie KnobbeMackenzie Knobbe33GJr.
Mackenzie KnobbeMackenzie Knobbe33GJr.
Julie RichardsJulie Richards40CSo
Julie RichardsJulie Richards40CFr.
Julie RichardsJulie Richards40CJr.
Julie RichardsJulie Richards40CSr.
Crystal ArmendarezCrystal Armendarez24FFr.
Crystal ArmendarezCrystal Armendarez20F
Stephanie SauterStephanie Sauter12F
Stephanie SauterStephanie Sauter32GFr.
Maribeth MartinezMaribeth Martinez14GJr.
Maribeth MartinezMaribeth Martinez14G
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