"Other" Sauter keys UCCS win
Call it the Stephanie Sauter factor.
The Mountain Lionsâ€TM â€œotherâ€ Sauter had 17 points as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs outlasted the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers 58-46 Saturday night at the Lionsâ€TM Den.
In the Mountain Lionsâ€TM four wins this season, Sauter has averaged 10.8 points per game. In their seven losses, her average has been 7.1 per game.
Saturdayâ€TMs score, though, was far from indicative of what was a much closer game. A free throw by Angela Pearson completed a 13-2 run that shrank UCCSâ€TM lead to 43-42 with 6:23 remaining in the game. The Mountain Lions were only able increase the lead to three at the three-minute mark.
From there, UCCS found a higher gear that had been missing in the second half. Sauter drove hard to the basket to draw a foul. Her free throws made the score 51-46 with 2:44 left. Both teams missed 3-point attempts, but Maribeth Martinez slashed through the lane to grab an offensive rebound on the UCCS miss. After dribbling 17 precious seconds off the clock, Martinez found Dolly Fiedelman alone at the top of the key.
â€œAt first I thought it was too good to be true,â€ said Martinez of how open her teammate was.
Fiedelmanâ€TMs 3-pointer gave the Mountain Lions an eight-point advantage.
â€œThey broke down (defensively) at that point,â€ said Fiedelman. â€œThat was the open shot.â€
After another Mines miss, Fiedelman hit a short running jumper to put the game on ice.
The Mountain Lions forced 26 turnovers and have had 54 takeaways in their past two games. Guards Martinez, Fiedelman and Whitney Knobbe have applied extraordinary pressure up top, forcing hurried passes. The Sauter sisters, Jennine and Stephanie, have opportunistically stepped into the passing lanes. Should that fail, center Julie Richards has cleaned up the trash.
A propensity for giving the ball away was one of very few weaknesses shown so far this season by the very big, very skilled Orediggers. The Mountain Lions knew they had to expose that tendency.
â€œWe knew we had to step it up and put some pressure defense on them,â€ said Martinez. â€œOur pressure is pretty â€¦ it makes them scramble. You can see that from our last two games.â€
It worked. Staphanie Sauter had seven steals, while sister Jennine added five.
Jennine Sauter had 14 points for UCCS (4-7, 3-3 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference), while Martinez finished with 12 points and a team-high four assists, and Fiedelman added nine points.
The Orediggers (8-5, 3-3 RMAC) took advantage of Richardsâ€TM foul trouble. With UCCSâ€TM 6-foot-2 center limited to only 16 minutes, Mines post players Ashley Gronewoller and Angela Pearson were nearly unstoppable. Pearson had 12 of her team-high 18 points in the second half, while Gronewoller added 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
UCCS will travel to Kearney to play the Lopers on Saturday. Then, the Mountain Lions will have four consecutive home games, making it a crucial stretch for an improving team.
â€œWeâ€TMre starting to work as a team really well and our defense is really coming along,â€ said Martinez.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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