Unlikely shooter downs Mountain Lions
LAKEWOOD, Colo. â€" Tay Mathis scored 30 points on 12-of-17 shooting, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range, as the Tampa Spartans defeated the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs 69-53 Saturday night in Game 3 of the CCU Thanksgiving Tournament.
It was the second consecutive night that the Mountain Lions (1-3) had been scorched by an unlikely long-range bomber. On Friday, Sterlingâ€TMs Ashley Kraft went off for 28 points on 9-of-12 shooting (6-of-8 from 3-point range).
Coming into the tournament, Mathis had made only four of her 20 3-point attempts on the season.
â€œWe prepared the girls as best as we could based on the scouting report and then one person comes out of nowhere and goes off on us,â€ said UCCS coach Jessika Stratton. â€œGive that kid a lot of credit. She played hard, she knocked down her shots and we didnâ€TMt.â€
Other than Mathis, UCCSâ€TM defensive game plan worked. The rest of the Spartans (4-1) combined to shoot 20.9 percent (9-of-43) from the field and 0-for-6 on 3-pointers.
Offensively, though, the Mountain Lions were feeble. Top scorers Julie Richards and Jennine Sauter combined for 35 points, but made only 14 of their 45 field goal attempts. UCCS was also outscored 21-6 from the free throw line.
â€œWe couldnâ€TMt find the basket,â€ said Stratton. â€œThatâ€TMs what hurt us.â€
Tampa led 23-17 at halftime as both teams struggled to find any offense. Behind three consecutive 3-pointers by Mathis, the Spartans opened up the game early in the second half. They led by as many as 21 when the Mountain Lions were finally able to mount a charge.
Three-pointers by Richards and Stephanie Sauter, along with field goals by Dolly Fiedelman and reserves Whitney Knobbe and Crystal Armendarez helped the Mountain Lions close to 63-53 with a minute remaining. A pair of unfortunate calls â€" a rare intentional foul and a technical foul â€" helped the Spartans extend the lead in the gameâ€TMs final seconds.
The Mountain Lions have now shot less than 40 percent both times theyâ€TMve played the second of back-to-back games.
â€œI donâ€TMt know if itâ€TMs from having only eight players and being tired or from a lack of concentration,â€ said Stratton of UCCS' shooting woes. â€œThatâ€TMs something weâ€TMre going to try to figure out and hopefully work out the kinks over the next week and we can hit our stride for (the RMAC portion of the schedule).
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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