Big Winona State run thwarts Mountain Lions' hopes for upset
COLORADO SPRINGS â€" A 24-5 run over the final nine minutes of the first half ended all hopes of a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs upset and propelled the Winona State Warriors to a 90-63 victory in the final game of the 2008 Hyatt Place Mountain Lion Classic at the Lionsâ€TM Den.
Winona State (5-0) won both of its games in the tournament. Adams State and Newman each went 1-1 and UCCS went 0-2 in the tournament to fall to 0-4 on the season.
â€œItâ€TMs tough (mentally) to lose four games straight but weâ€TMve learned a lot from our losses,â€ said UCCS sophomore Mallory Lowe, who led the Mountain Lions with 16 points. â€œWe learn something each game. Coach just says, â€˜as long as we come back better than the day before, thatâ€TMs success.â€TMâ€
Over the two tournament games, Lowe led UCCS with a 14-point-per-game average on 13-for-22 shooting. The sophomore from Bushnell, Ill., also grabbed 18 rebounds, blocked three shots and had six steals.
Her efforts were rewarded with a spot on the all-tournament team.
â€œIâ€TMm really excited,â€ said Lowe of the award. â€œItâ€TMs a great accomplishment especially considering how I played last year and how Iâ€TMm playing this year.â€
Nancy Hoist added 13 points for UCCS. She and Lowe each had nine rebounds. Janean Jubic had a game-high six assists.
After a Karlee Gradisar layup gave UCCS a 22-17 lead with 9:12 remaining in the first half, Winona State put together a 14-0 run over the next four minutes. Lowe ended the UCCS drought with a 3-pointer, but the Warriors answered with a 10-0 run to start the rout. Jessica Lynch hit a layup at the buzzer, but the Mountain Lions were left looking up at a 41-27 halftime deficit.
During the run, Winona State shot 9-of-13 from the field with Kelsey Homewood getting 10 points. UCCS, meanwhile, shot just 2-for-11 and gave away seven turnovers.
The Mountain Lions twice reduced the deficit to 12 in the second half, the second time after a Lynch 3-pointer with 13:56 remaining, but the Warriors responded with 17 straight points, seven by Homewood.
Homewood led Winona State with 17 points, while Ana Wurtz and Natalie Gigler added 16 and 15 respectively. Molly Anderson had a game-high 11 rebounds.
The bigger Warriors played an effective inside-out game while UCCS was forced to settle for a more perimeter-oriented attack. The difference showed itself at the foul line, as Winona State attempted 33 free throws, making 22, compared to only 4-for-15 for UCCS.
â€œThey basically took up the whole paint area; when we were driving, we didnâ€TMt have very much room,â€ said Lowe. â€œOnce we were driving, we werenâ€TMt dishing it out to the spots we were supposed to.â€
That lack of execution made the Mountain Lions ice-cold from 3-point range. After making four of their first 11 attempts, UCCS made just two of its next 15.
While disappointed with the loss, the Mountain Lions are still upbeat. UCCS will play Johnson & Wales and Panhandle State at Golden, Colo., next weekend before returning home for a game against in-town rival Colorado College the following Tuesday.
â€œWeâ€TMve got a lot of stuff to work on,â€ said Lowe. â€œWeâ€TMll be better next week, I promise.â€
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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