UCCS comeback thwarted by Mesa State
GRAND JUNCTION -- The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs came most, but not all, of the way back from a 16-point second-half deficit before finally succumbing to the Mesa State Mavericks 68-52 Friday evening at Brownson Arena.
The Mountain Lions trailed 35-19 just over a minute into the second half when a Candace Thornton 3-pointer ignited a 9-1 run. After a Mesa State field goal, Janean Jubic knocked down a 3-pointer to start a 7-2 run that closed the gap to 40-35.
A 3-pointer by the Mavericks' Hannah Breidel was answered by a pair of field goals by Nancy Hoist and another by Tonya Tripp as the Mountain Lions closed to within three.
"It was more of us going to what works for us; going inside out and moving the ball more on offense," said Hoist. "More than anything, it shows our heart. We won't give up."
The score was 45-42 with 7:50 remaining when the wheels fell off. A Mavericks field goal was quickly followed by a rebounding foul by Tripp, her fifth, with 7:35 remaining. Tripp, the Mountain Lions' leading scorer and rebounder, came into the game with a bullseye on her butt, picking up five fouls, four of the phantom variety, in just 19 minutes of playing time.
Frustrated, Tripp slammed the ball down and was also assessed a technical foul. Mesa State made all four free throws to go up 51-42. UCCS never recovered.
"Games aren't won or lost in one moment," said Hoist. "It's the result of what happens over the full 40 minutes."
The final margin was larger than it should have been. UCCS coach Jessika Stratton conceded in the final 30 seconds, loudly instructing her team not to foul so that Mesa State could dribble out the final seconds. Mesa State coach Timi Brown had other ideas, though, as the Mavericks took advantage of the letdown to score two more field goals.
Hoist led UCCS (8-9, 2-4 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) with 14 points. Jubic and Thornton each added nine, while Tripp and Emily Jenkins each had eight. Jenkins also had 10 rebounds and four assists.
Brittany Fowler led Mesa State (5-9, 3-3 RMAC) with 16 points.
UCCS began the game with an 8-2 lead in just over three minutes only to see their shooting dry up. Over the next nine minutes, the Mountain Lions could manage nothing but a pair of driving scoop shots by Jubic. The result was an 18-4 Mesa State run.
After a Thornton 3-pointer cut the deficit to 20-15 with 3:55 remaining in the half, the Mavericks closed the period with a 9-4 run. UCCS shot just 24 percent from the field in the half.
Mesa State opened the second half by scoring the first six points to take a commanding 35-19 lead.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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