UCCS rally falls short in loss to Sterling
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.
â€œWe put on a last-minute surge, but we were a little too late,â€ said UCCS coach Jessika Stratton. â€œIf this was another night and (the Lady Warriors) werenâ€TMt hitting, things could be different.â€
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.
â€œWhen you play a zone youâ€TMre going to give up some things,â€ said Stratton. â€œYouâ€TMre going to give up some outside shots and long rebounds.â€
Those long rebounds equated into a 55-35 advantage for Sterling, including a 22-9 edge on the offensive glass.
â€œWe werenâ€TMt getting the long rebounds or the rebounds on the back side, which means we werenâ€TMt finding the body,â€ said Stratton of her team's failure to effectively box out. â€œWe never put a body on somebody.â€
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.
â€œThere were things that we did to ourselves that would have kept us in the ball game,â€ said Stratton. â€œAt the beginning of the second half, we came out and missed six layups in a row.â€
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.
â€œShe got some good shots off,â€ Stratton said of Kraft. â€œSheâ€TMs a really good shooter.â€
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.
â€œWe have to go back to the drawing board and do a lot better job on defense,â€ said Stratton. â€œWeâ€TMve given up way too many points over the first three games.â€
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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