Turnovers, poor shooting dooms UCCS

By Doug Fitzgerald published December 8, 2007

COLORADO SPRINGS -- A 26.1 percent shooting performance and 29 turnovers is usually the recipe for disaster and that's exactly what the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs got Saturday in a 68-52 loss to the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

The Mountain Lions (4-6, 0-2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) struggled with CSU-Pueblo's trapping defense, turning the ball over frequently.

"We tried to prepare for their traps on their zone," said UCCS senior Emily Jenkins. "Unfortunately, we didn't handle it the way we thought we would."

When the Mountain Lions did break the trap, they were rewarded with several open shots. They squandered the gift, though, as they were utterly unable to put the ball in the hole. UCCS shot 14.2 percent (2-for-14) from 3-point range.

"Offensively, we were still getting looks but we couldn't convert them," said Jenkins. "It's at a point where I think it's more mental than anything. The last five games we've shot less than 40 percent."

That lack of shooting has been one of the biggest reasons UCCS has dropped six straight games after a promising 4-0 start to the season.

The score would have been even more lopsided Saturday had not the Thunderwolves had their own struggles. CSU-Pueblo committed 26 turnovers, shot 40.7 percent and were outrebounded 54-44 by the Mountain Lions.

Jenkins grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, while Kirsten Buttars and Candace Thornton came off the UCCS bench to nab seven each.

"Coach is always emphasizing how we need to box out; how we need to own the boards," said UCCS forward Alex Pitts, who had nine points and five rebounds in a reserve role. "One of our goals tonight was to outrebound them offensively and defensively."

Jenkins and Buttars each scored nine points for UCCS, while Nancy Hoist and Tonya Tripp each added eight. Tripp was limited to 20 minutes after spraining an ankle.

Lindsay Black led CSU-Pueblo (6-2, 1-1 RMAC) with 14 points, four assists and four blocked shots.

The UCCS bench provided a bright spot in an otherwise dismal evening. Mountain Lion reserves accounted for 25 points and 22 rebounds.

"Coach is always saying that our bench needs to outscore (the opponents') bench," said Pitts. "We came off the bench knowing we had to make that contribution."


UCCS Players/Staff Featured

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