UCCS finished exhibition season with loss to Denver

By Doug Fitzgerald published November 11, 2006

DENVER â€" Thank goodness thatâ€TMs over.

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs womenâ€TMs basketball team completed its odyssey (and its illiad, for that matter) through the land of giants with a 78-47 loss Saturday to the Denver Pioneers at Hamilton Gymnasium.

It was the Mountain Lionsâ€TM third game, all exhibitions, against NCAA Division I opponents.

“We were intimidated. We didnâ€TMt mean to be, obviously,” said UCCS center Tonya Tripp, who led the Mountain Lions with 11 points. “We tried to prepare ourselves the best we could but once you get in there itâ€TMs a little different.”

Now, UCCS can pick on someone its own size â€" sort of.

The Mountain Lions will begin the regular season Friday at the Al Kaly Shrine Tournament in Pueblo. The good news is that the opponent, St. Cloud State, is a Division II program. The bad news is that the Huskies are ranked No. 4 in the nation.

“Understanding the next level of play - that was the purpose of scheduling the (Division I teams),” said UCCS coach Jessika Stratton, “because the teams we play the first couple of games of the season are of that caliber and can play at that level.”

Denverâ€TMs Tyesha Lowery was a one-woman wrecking crew. The senior had 14 points and seven assists, but it was her seven steals, most of which turned into uncontested layups, that did the most damage.

Sarah Benham led Denver with 16 points.

“Iâ€TMm very disappointed in our effort and our performance,” said Stratton. “I think that we did not come ready to play and they took advantage of us from the very beginning.”

Candace Thornton added nine points for UCCS, while Nancy Hoist and Emily Jenkins had eight each. Jenkins also had a team-high seven rebounds.

After trailing 37-20 at the half, the Mountain Lions battled back early in the second period. Candace Thorntonâ€TMs 3-pointer with 14:55 remaining cut the deficit to 42-29.

Thatâ€TMs when Lowery and the Pioneers turned up the defensive pressure. UCCS didnâ€TMt get a shot off over the next 2½ minutes as Denver put together a 10-0 run to end the Mountain Lion threat.

The Pioneers piled it on late. After a Tonya Tripp layup cut the lead to 55-37 with 8:05 left, Denver ran its way to a 18-2 run

“We had spurts of greatness, but spurts donâ€TMt win you ballgames,” said Stratton.

The Mountain Lions are hoping to correct that.

“Iâ€TMm hoping to see us pick it up a notch and compete with them,” said Tripp. “I feel we can beat these teams.

“Iâ€TMm ready to see us put more effort forth and get some wins.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Emily JenkinsEmily Jenkins22FSo.
Emily JenkinsEmily Jenkins22FSo.
Emily JenkinsEmily Jenkins33FJr.
Emily JenkinsEmily Jenkins33FSr.
Tonya TrippTonya Tripp43C
Tonya TrippTonya Tripp43CSr.
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