Mountain Lions suffer first loss of season

By Doug Fitzgerald published November 17, 2007

ALAMOSA -- The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' perfect start to the 2007-08 season came to an end Saturday as the Mountain Lions were beaten 71-60 by the Lubbock Christian Lady Chaps at Plachy Hall.

Tony Tripp had a career-high 29 points and 13 rebounds for the Mountain Lions (4-1), who outrebounded Lubbock Christian 39-30. Point guard Janean Jubic added 10 points and five assists. The pair combined to shoot 15-of-28 from the field.

Unfortunately for UCCS, the rest of the team combined to shoot just 6-of-29 as the Mountain Lions shot 36.8 percent as a team.

"They were giving us what we wanted down low," said UCCS coach Jessika Caldwell. "We needed a third scorer to step up but we didn't get that."

Carolyn Manning led Lubbock Christian (3-1) with 22 points and 12 rebounds. The Lady Chaps, who are ranked 10th in the NAIA Division I preseason poll, shot 44.4 percent from the field and made 19 of their 20 free throws.

"Lubbock Christian is a very well-coached team," said Caldwell. They have a lot of movement in their offense to get their shooters open."

That offensive execution helped the Lady Chaps get out to an early lead. After a pair of Tripp field goals gave UCS a 4-2 lead, Lubbock Christian responded with eight straight points. The Lady Chaps held a 16-12 lead when they went on an 18-8 run. They settled for a 36-24 halftime advantage.

"We haven't started well for the past three games," said Caldwell, "so we'll have to work the kinks out of that."

The UCCS deficit topped out at 15 early in the second half and was there at the 17-minute mark when Nancy Hoist made the second of two free throws. Jubic, Tripp and Alex Pitts followed with field goals to complete a 7-0 run that made the score 45-37.

The deficit was still eight, 53-45, with 9:34 left when the Mountain Lions put together an 11-5 run over the next five minutes capped by Candace Thornton's 3-pointer and a Jubic layup. That's where the comeback ended, though, as Lubbock Christian made two of its next three shots and also knocked down six consecutive free throws to extend its lead to 68-58 with just 1:09 remaining. Over the same period, UCCS committed three turnovers.

Tripp was named to the Grizzly Tip=Off Classic all-tournament team after averaging 17 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists over the two games.

Lubbock Christian was the third UCCS opponent this season to have received significant preseason attention. Bellarmine, which UCCS beat on Nov. 4, was the 39th-highest vote getter in the NCAA Division II preseason poll. Friday's opponent, Mayville State, was ranked No. 24 in the NAIA Division II poll.

That trend will continue when UCCS hosts the Hyatt Place Mountain Lion Classic. Friday's opponent, Wayne State, was 19-10 a season ago and returns four of its top six scorers. Saturday, the Mountain Lions face South Dakota, which was the 36th-highest vote getter in the NCAA Division II preseason poll.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Nancy HoistNancy Hoist40F
Nancy HoistNancy Hoist40F
Nancy HoistNancy Hoist40F
Tonya TrippTonya Tripp43C
Tonya TrippTonya Tripp43CSr.
Janean JubicJanean Jubic12GFr.
Janean JubicJanean Jubic12GSo.
Janean JubicJanean Jubic21GJr.
Janean JubicJanean Jubic21GSr.
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