Lowe's first career double-double highlights 27-point blowout victory

By Doug Fitzgerald published November 20, 2009

ALAMOSA - Mallory Lowe finally recorded the elusive double-double to lead the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to a 76-49 victory over the Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggies Friday afternoon at Plachy Hall.

Lowe scored 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds for her first career double-double. She also had a team-high three steals and two assists.

"Mallory is a really good athlete; she just gets ahead of herself sometimes," said UCCS coach Stephen Kirkham. "Like a lot of kids in the program, she just needs to better understand timing and spacing. She's gotten better each game."

The 27-point margin of victory was the highest since Dec. 5, 2008 when UCCS beat Johnson & Wales by 32. Before that, you have to search all the way back to Jan. 5, 2006, a 32-point win over Colorado Christian, for a gap as large.

Alyse Bessert scored all 15 of her points and grabbed six of her seven rebounds in the second half for UCCS (1-1). Lauren Holm added 10 points and a team-best three assists, while Payden Ackerman and Kallie Jiblits each had seven points.

The Mountain Lions enjoyed great balance in their scoring, getting 43 points from the starters and 33 from the reserves. They also got 45 points from their post players.

"Everybody we put into the game did some good things," said Kirkham. "We have a lot of players who are pretty similar and it's just a case of understanding what your role is."

The Mountain Lions showed some of the stifling defense that was a trademark of Kirkham's teams at Mesa State. UCCS held Panhandle State to just 26.3 percent shooting from the field and outrebounded the Aggies 47-31.

"We played pretty good defense, rebounded pretty well and got the ball in the paint and scored in the paint," said Kirkham. "That's what you have to do to win in the RMAC."

UCCS shot over 40 percent for the second time in as many games this season, hitting 49.1 percent of its shots Friday. The Mountain Lions reached the 40 percent mark just 10 times in 27 games this past season (going 5-5) and 30 times the previous three seasons (21-9).

Kariz Bioni led Panhandle State (2-1) with 13 points.

Lowe, a junior from Bushnell, Ill., has had several near-misses in an attempt to reach the double-double benchmark. The near-miss journey started on Nov. 28, 2008 when Lowe had 12 points against the Newman Jets but barely missed the mark with nine rebounds. The next day against Winona State, she had 16 points but, again, nine rebounds.

Her prospects looked good against Mesa State on Jan. 16, 2009, because she grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds. Unfortunately, she came up a point short this time with nine points. On Feb 27, Lowe scored a career-high 20 points
against Regis but managed just nine rebounds.

A free throw by Nefeteria Davis with 14:05 remaining in Friday's first half cut UCCS' lead to four at 11-7. The Mountain Lions' went on to a 22-8 run that featured eight straight points by Lowe to expand the advantage to 33-15. A 3-pointer by Nicole Candelaria made it 33-18 at the intermission.

A jumper by Karlee Gradisar gave UCCS its biggest lead at 51-26 with 10:58 left. Panhandle State responded by scoring seven straight, eventually whittling the gap to 14 with 7:03 remaining.

That's when Kirkham called a timeout.

"I told them that when you get someone down, you have to step on their neck," he said. "It's not because you outscore them, it's because you play great defense and don't allow them to score."

The team listened, outscoring the Aggies 24-8 the rest of the way.

UCCS will complete its play at the Adams State Bankers Classic on Saturday with a 1 p.m. tipoff against Northern New Mexico.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Kallie JibletsKallie Jiblets30F
Kallie JibletsKallie Jiblets30F
Mallory LoweMallory Lowe34C/F
Mallory LoweMallory Lowe34C/F
Mallory LoweMallory Lowe34C/F
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