UCCS rally falls short in loss to Sterling

By Doug Fitzgerald published November 25, 2005

LAKEWOOD, Colo. â€" A University of Colorado at Colorado Springs rally fell short as the Mountain Lions were defeated 81-73 by the Sterling Lady Warriors Friday night at Colorado Christian University.

UCCS trailed 79-65 with two minutes remaining. A Stephanie Sauter 3-pointer cut the lead to 11. A Jennine Sauter steal led to a short jumper by Julie Richards, then a Maribeth Martinez steal led to another 3-pointer by Stephanie Sauter. Suddenly, the Mountain Lions trailed just 79-73 with 50 seconds remaining.

Thatâ€TMs as close as UCCS would get. Two fouls led to two made free throws for Sterling. UCCS missed two more 3-point attempts.

“We put on a last-minute surge, but we were a little too late,” said UCCS coach Jessika Stratton. “If this was another night and (the Lady Warriors) werenâ€TMt hitting, things could be different.”

But Sterling was hitting with alarming regularity. The Lady Warriors made 10 of their 18 3-point attempts and 23 of their 26 free throws.

“When you play a zone youâ€TMre going to give up some things,” said Stratton. “Youâ€TMre going to give up some outside shots and long rebounds.”

Those long rebounds equated into a 55-35 advantage for Sterling, including a 22-9 edge on the offensive glass.

“We werenâ€TMt getting the long rebounds or the rebounds on the back side, which means we werenâ€TMt finding the body,” said Stratton of her team's failure to effectively box out. “We never put a body on somebody.”

Jennine Sauter led the Mountain Lions with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Richards added 14 points and Dolly Fiedelman had 12.

The Mountain Lions led for most of the first half. Only a twisting buzzer-beater by Ali Steven allowed Sterling to end the half in a 36-all tie.

The momentum generated by Stevenâ€TMs unlikely shot carried over to the second half. The Lady Warriors quickly began to pull ahead.

“There were things that we did to ourselves that would have kept us in the ball game,” said Stratton. “At the beginning of the second half, we came out and missed six layups in a row.”

In the meantime, Sterlingâ€TMs Ashley Kraft went nuts. Kraft knocked down 3-pointers on four consecutive possessions to turn a 3-point Sterling lead into a 15-point runaway.

“She got some good shots off,” Stratton said of Kraft. “Sheâ€TMs a really good shooter.”

Kraft led Sterling with 28 points, including a 6-for-8 performance from 3-point range.

The game was the first of the CCU Thanksgiving Tournament. UCCS will play Tampa at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

“We have to go back to the drawing board and do a lot better job on defense,” said Stratton. “Weâ€TMve given up way too many points over the first three games.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jennine SauterJennine Sauter21FFr.
Jennine SauterJennine Sauter21FSo
Jennine SauterJennine Sauter21FJr.
Jennine SauterJennine Sauter21FSr.
Julie RichardsJulie Richards40CSo
Julie RichardsJulie Richards40CFr.
Julie RichardsJulie Richards40CJr.
Julie RichardsJulie Richards40CSr.
Stephanie SauterStephanie Sauter32GFr.
Stephanie SauterStephanie Sauter12F
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