Freshmen lead the way as UCCS wins its second straight game

By Doug Fitzgerald published December 6, 2008

GOLDEN, Colo. â€" Led by Ashley Millerâ€TMs 14 points, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springsâ€TM freshman class played a big role as the Mountain Lions beat the Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggies 71-45 Saturday afternoon at Lockridge Arena.

The win gave the Mountain Lions a 2-0 record at the Oredigger Classic and a 2-4 mark for the season.

The five UCCS freshmen that played (Miller, Katie Eickelman, Payden Ackerman, Karlee Gradisar and Audy Bell) combined for 30 points, 20 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and two blocked shots in 85 minutes of playing time. The teamâ€TMs sixth freshman, Alex Sherk, missed the game with an injury.

Eickelman credited her coach, Jessika Caldwell, and the upper classmen for helping the freshman class make a quick contribution.

“It starts with coach, really. She doesnâ€TMt treat us like freshmen,” said Eickelman, who had a game-high nine rebounds to go along with eight points, three assists and two steals. “We have really good leadership; that helps a lot, too, especially with Janean (Jubic) and Nancy (Hoist) and everybody. They make us feel comfortable. They tell us what we need to do and we do it.”

Miller said that playing time and increased success has helped the newcomers acclimate.

“I would say we just feel a lot more loose out there,” said Miller, who also had six rebounds. “Weâ€TMre taking better shots and really getting into a rhythm out there.

“Weâ€TMre really coming together; the freshman class. I think weâ€TMre realizing that we can contribute on this team and we can make things happen. Weâ€TMve just got to believe in ourselves.”

Hoist, the teamâ€TMs lone senior, and sophomore Jazzmin Awa-Williams added 12 points each for UCCS.

The Mountain Lion reserves outscored their starters 38-33.

Sarah Sweatt led Panhandle State (1-8) with 11 points and five rebounds.

UCCS took an early 11-2 lead over the first four minutes with Hoist scoring six. The lead was still nine at the halfway point of the first period when the Mountain Lions scored 11 straight to go up 31-11. The lead grew to 45-21 at the intermission.

The lead never dipped below 20 in the second half.

Through this point in the season, Panhandle State would qualify for a ‘Schizophrenics ‘R Usâ€TM franchise. The Aggies beat Mesa State â€" always a contender in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference â€" by five points. Panhandle also took a tough Adams State team to overtime.

On the flip side, the Aggies lost to Tampa by 31, to West Texas A&M by 50 and to Fort Lewis by 57. On Friday, Panhandle opened the Oredigger Classic with an 84-35 loss to the host Colorado School of Mines.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Nancy HoistNancy Hoist40F
Nancy HoistNancy Hoist40F
Nancy HoistNancy Hoist40F
Jazzmin Awa-WilliamsJazzmin Awa-Williams30F
Jazzmin Awa-WilliamsJazzmin Awa-Williams30F
Alex SherkAlex Sherk3G
Katie EickelmanKatie Eickelman5G
Audy BellAudy Bell31C
Audy BellAudy Bell31C
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