Threes fly free as CSU-Pueblo beats tired Mountain Lions

By Doug Fitzgerald published December 12, 2009

PUEBLO, Colo. â€" The Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves hit 62.5 percent from 3-point range to capture their first points in the 2009-10 Steel & Silver Series as their womenâ€TMs basketball team ran away with a 85-54 victory over the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions Saturday evening at Massari Arena.

The Thunderwolves (5-2, 3-0 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) made 15 of their 24 3-point attempt, including 3-of-4 by Amanda Bartlett, who had a game-high 17 points. The 15 3-pointers was a new CSU-Pueblo school record.

While UCCS (pending the result of Saturdayâ€TMs menâ€TMs game) holds an 18-4 lead in the series, the matter is far from decided. The Thunderwolvesâ€TM track team is much improved and will challenge for the eight combined points available in indoor and outdoor track and the CSU-Pueblo menâ€TMs basketball team is also off to a strong start, which could gain four more points.

Four other Thunderwolves aside from Bartlett hit double digits. Katrina Selsor and Caitlyn Jewell each had 13 and Jennelle Branting and Kami Dahlberg each had 11. Dahlbergâ€TMs total was a career high and Brantingâ€TMs matched her career best.

Notably absent from the double-digit list was Rachel Espinoza, CSU-Puebloâ€TMs leading scorer at 16.2 points per game. The senior from Pueblo Central High School scored just two points as UCCS senior Janean Jubic did a good job harassing her.

Lauren Holm scored a career-high 18 points to lead UCCS (3-6, 0-3 RMAC), which was visibly lethargic on defense on its second game in two nights and facing a rested CSU-Pueblo team. Freshman Lauren Wolfinger added nine points, a game-high 10 rebounds and five assists. Alyse Bessert also had nine points.

The Mountain Lions dug themselves into their requisite hole in the first half, first falling behind 33-18 and then watching it swell to 41-23 at the intermission. UCCS has now fallen behind by 14 or more points in six of their nine games this season.

The Thunderwolves shot a blistering 56.3 percent from 3-point range in the first half, including three during an 13-0 run that blew open an 8-all tie. CSU-Pueblo came into the game shooting just 23.1 percent from long range this season.

Oddly, UCCS came into the game among the RMAC leaders in 3-point defense, allowing opponents to convert at just a 32 percent clip.

The Mountain Lions helped by committing 15 first-half turnovers and shooting just 9-for-28. UCCS has committed 34 turnovers in the first half of its past two games.

CSU-Pueblo scored the first six points of the second half to expand the lead to 24. It continued to grow, maxing out at 37 as the team hit 6-of-8 from long range in the period.

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