Awa-Williams celebrates her birthday by leading team to win
GOLDEN, Colo. â€" Some people really know how to celebrate a birthday.
On Friday, her 20th birthday, Jazzmin Awa-Williams recorded her first career double-double to lead the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to an 88-56 victory over the Johnson & Wales Wildcats in the first game of the Oredigger Classic at Lockridge Arena.
Awa-Williams established new career highs for points with 21 and rebounds with 10. The sophomore from Kailuakona, Hawaii, was also efficient, making nine of her 14 field goal attempts.
â€œAll I wanted was a win for my birthday,â€ said Awa-Williams. â€œI got that and a lot more and it feels great.â€
She led a UCCS bench that scored 53 points on 19-of-40 shooting. The Mountain Lion reserves came into the game shooting a combined 25.5 percent from the field.
Another Hawaiian, Nancy Hoist joined her former Konawaena High School teammate in the double-double category with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Payden Ackerman added nine points, while Alex Pitts and Jessica Lynch each had eight. Karlee Gradisar had a game-high five assists.
It was the first win for UCCS after opening the season with four losses.
â€œIt feels â€¦ not as tense. We were so worried about getting a win,â€ said Awa-Williams. â€œWhen youâ€TMre on a zero (win) record, you want that win really bad. Now that we have it, we just want to work on improving.â€
Her coach agrees.
â€œWe still have a lot to work on and a lot to build upon but this was a good stepping stone,â€ said UCCS coach Jessika Caldwell. â€œI thought that we did some things better. I thought that we had really good balance in our scoring on offense, we took good shots and I was really pleased with the movement for the most part.â€
Patricia Weldon and Andrea Austin led Johnson & Wales (2-10) with 10 points each. Jacinda Baumann had four of the Wildcatsâ€TM 10 blocked shots.
Johnson & Wales led once â€" at 1-0 â€" but did not score again until nearly eight minutes had expired. By that time, UCCS had built a 15-1 advantage behind six Awa-Williams points.
Johnson & Wales managed to get the deficit into single digits five times over the rest of the period, but each time the Mountain Lions were able to answer, taking a 43-30 lead into the intermission.
â€œI thought we kept our composure when they kept hanging around,â€ said Caldwell. â€œWe did a good job of answering when they made a run.â€
UCCS put together a 22-6 over a six-minute period beginning with just under 13 minutes remaining to blow the game open.
UCCS will play Oklahoma Panhandle State at 4 p.m. on Saturday while Johnson & Wales will face the host Colorado School of Mines at 6 p.m.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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