UCCS a half short of a whole
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.
â€œWe knew that it was going to be a tough game but she just didnâ€TMt come out ready to play,â€ said UCCS forward Jennine Sauter. â€œWe came out soft and without intensity and it showed. They dominated from the very beginning.â€
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.
â€œJulie and I are constantly expecting to be double-teamed,â€ said Sauter, â€œbut the pressure tonight was up a level from what weâ€TMve faced before.â€
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.
â€œWe dug ourselves a hole,â€ said Sauter. â€œIt was obvious that it was going to be difficult, if not impossible, to come back but we had to give it a shot.â€
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.
â€œI think weâ€TMre proud of each other for playing the second half as hard as we did,â€ said Sauter.
The loss dropped UCCSâ€TM lead in the RMAC West Division to a half a game.
â€œWeâ€TMre still in a good spot in the West, so we have to overcome this,â€ said Sauter. â€œWe 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.
â€œWe canâ€TMt let teams get into our heads and take us out of our game. Thatâ€TMs what we did tonight.â€
They also need to remember their geometry.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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