UCCS a half short of a whole

By Doug Fitzgerald published January 27, 2006

PUEBLO â€" The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs womenâ€TMs basketball team learned an important geometry lesson Friday night â€" it takes two halves to make a whole. If thereâ€TMs just one half, well, that creates a hole.

Behind 21 points from Lauren Westerman, the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves exploited that hole by riding a dominant first half to a 63-48 victory over the Mountain Lions at Massari Arena.

“We knew that it was going to be a tough game but she just didnâ€TMt come out ready to play,” said UCCS forward Jennine Sauter. “We came out soft and without intensity and it showed. They dominated from the very beginning.”

Jennine Sauter scored all 15 of her points and Julie Richards had 11 of her 12 in the second half for UCCS (8-9, 6-5 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference), which shook off its first-half lethargy to outscore CSU-Pueblo 32-28 in the second period.

But for all intents and purposes, this game was decided in the first half. The Thunderwolves double-teamed aggressively in the post, manhandling the Mountain Lions in the paint. UCCSâ€TM top two scorers, Sauter and Richards, were held to just three points on 1-for-11 shooting in the period.

“Julie and I are constantly expecting to be double-teamed,” said Sauter, “but the pressure tonight was up a level from what weâ€TMve faced before.”

The dominance was mind-numbing. CSU-Puebloâ€TMs Kerry Lewis had eight first-half rebounds while UCCS had nine as a team. Thunderwolves forward Lauren Westerman matched the Mountain Lionsâ€TM scoring output all by herself with 14 points. UCCS was outrebounded 29-9 and outshot 46.9 percent to 20.8 percent.

The Thunderwolves (10-8, 5-5 RMAC) made their first four 3-pointers to open a quick 18-7 lead. They took advantage of UCCSâ€TM poor shooting to extend that lead to 37-14 at the half.

“We dug ourselves a hole,” said Sauter. “It was obvious that it was going to be difficult, if not impossible, to come back but we had to give it a shot.”

They gave it a good shot. The Mountain Lionsâ€TM pressure defense found its rhythm to force 18 second-half turnovers. UCCS whittled a lead, which had been as large as 25, down to 14 with 9:03 remaining before stalling.

“I think weâ€TMre proud of each other for playing the second half as hard as we did,” said Sauter.

The loss dropped UCCSâ€TM lead in the RMAC West Division to a half a game.

“Weâ€TMre still in a good spot in the West, so we have to overcome this,” said Sauter. “We have to win on the road, so itâ€TMs going to be key for us to come out and play the way we know how to play.

“We canâ€TMt let teams get into our heads and take us out of our game. Thatâ€TMs what we did tonight.”

They also need to remember their geometry.

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.
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