Freshman leads UCCS to win over Chadron State

By Doug Fitzgerald published January 19, 2008


COLORADO SPRINGS -- If you're going to have a coming-out party, it's nice to have a familiar face around.

Mallory Lowe scored 14 points to lead four Mountain Lions in double figures as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs defeated the Chadron State Eagles 72-48 Saturday evening at the Lions Den.

"My mom's here," said Lowe, a freshman from Bushnell, Ill. "These are probably the only two games (this season) she'll get to see me play."

After averaging just 6.5 minutes over the first 16 games of the season, Lowe has seen 32 minutes of playing time the past three, averaging 7.7 points and 2.3 rebounds.

"I've set the bar now, so I've got to keep on working," said Lowe. "I've got to prove to myself, to my mom, and to coach (Jessika Caldwell) and to everybody.

"At first, I'd get in for 30 seconds or a minute here and there and I was so nervous that I'd mess up that it would make me mess up. Getting more minutes, I feel like I'm getting more comfortable out on the floor."

Saturday's final margin was hardly indicative of the tenor of the game. The Mountain Lions led just 58-48 with less than five minutes remaining but Lowe hit a 3-pointer, two free throws and a layup to begin a run that saw UCCS score the final 14 points of the game.

Besides Lowe's career-high evening, Emily Jenkins (12), Kirstin Buttars (10) and Tonya Tripp (10) all reached double figures for UCCS (9-11, 3-6 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference). Tripp also added a game-high eight rebounds and four blocked shots.

Janean Jubic had seven of the Mountain Lions' 19 assists, their third-highest total of the season.

"We played like a team tonight," said Lowe. "Everyone contributed and everyone had their part."

Corissa Kesterson led Chadron State (5-11, 3-6 RMAC) with 14 points, while Sunni Busch added 13 points and seven rebounds.

The Mountain Lions held a slim 22-20 lead with just under five minutes remaining in the first half when a Buttars jumper ignited a 7-0 UCCS run. Chadron State's Samantha Arkulari hit a running jumper to cut it to 29-22 with 1:18 left only to see UCCS' Alex Pitts bank in a layup 11 seconds later after Nancy Hoist dove for a loose ball and managed to bat it to Pitts. A 3-pointer by Lauren Holm helped the Mountain Lion go into the intermission with a 34-22 advantage.

"They came out with a lot of intensity," said Lowe. "We didn't come out very well in the first five minutes but after that we stepped it up."

Kesterson had 12 of the Eagles' first-half points.

Division II basketball has been a big adjustment for Lowe, who had a graduating class of about 50 at tiny Bushnell-Prairie City-Avon High School.

"The biggest difference is the intensity level; it's completely different," said Lowe. "I came from being the big fish in the little pond and I come here and I'm nothing, really. I have to prove that I belong here."

She certainly belonged on Saturday.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Tonya TrippTonya Tripp43C
Tonya TrippTonya Tripp43CSr.
Mallory LoweMallory Lowe34C/F
Mallory LoweMallory Lowe34C/F
Mallory LoweMallory Lowe34C/F
Janean JubicJanean Jubic12GFr.
Janean JubicJanean Jubic12GSo.
Janean JubicJanean Jubic21GJr.
Janean JubicJanean Jubic21GSr.
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