Free throws lead Metro State past UCCS
DENVER â€" Julie Richards had 17 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots, but the Mountain Lions couldnâ€TMt overcome a 20-5 Metro State free throw advantage as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was beaten 72-61 by the Roadrunners Saturday night at the Nest.
Jennine Sauter added 21 points and nine rebounds for the Mountain Lions (2-, 1-3 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference), while Maribeth Martinez had a game-high nine assists.
Metro State (7-2, 4-0) made 20 free throws in 28 attempts, including two before the game even started because UCCS failed to get its lineup in 10 minutes prior to tipoff. The Mountain Lions went 5-for-8 from the line.
Paige Powers led the Roadrunners with 18 points. Megan Johnson added 15 points, while Rianna Harris had 11 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
A jumper by Sauter gave the Mountain Lions a 13-7 lead with 13:17 remaining in the first half. Metro State answered with a 9-0 run and continued to methodically build the lead as UCCS went as cold as the December weather. By halftime, the Roadrunners led 34-27.
UCCS mounted a final challenge late in the game. Trailing 59-48 with 4:50 left, a Richards block triggered a Sauter layup. Richards grabbed a rebound on the other side of the floor and found Martinez with a long outlet pass. Martinezâ€TMs layup made the score 59-52. Two possessions later, a slick Jennine Sauter pass found Richards crashing toward the basket, making the score 59-54 with 3:24 remaining.
â€œWe were doing everything we could to get back into the game,â€ said Richards. â€œWe were hustling and we were moving to the ball.â€
The Mountain Lions were unable to maintain the momentum, though, as Metro State hit two more free throws and converted on its next three field goal attempts.
â€œWe went through that mental lapse near the end,â€ said Richards. â€œThey made some free throws and some shots and pulled away from us.â€
The loss, combined with Fridayâ€TMs defeat at Regis, left UCCS coach Jessika Stratton both frustrated and encouraged.
â€œWhen you play on the road you have to be 10 points better (than your opponents),â€ said Stratton. â€œWe lost be 11. Thereâ€TMs that gap that we have to make up. We saw that both in the Regis game and tonight.
â€œThe girls are beginning to believe that they have the capability to hang with teams, but itâ€TMs trying to get over that hump. We have to go back, watch the film and work every single day in practice on our defenses and on finishing on offense.â€
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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