Sharp-shooting Regis ruins the mood during grand opening of Event Center
It's a shame to have to replace the lights in a brand-new building, but the Regis Rangers made it necessary by shooting them out Friday.
It looked to be a perfect evening as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs held the official grand opening of the new, and newly named, Gallogly Event Center. After the gala, a school-record 1,011 Blackout-Night fans crowded into the new facility.
Then the game started and the Rangers ruined the mood by shooting 59.6 percent from the field and 60 percent from 3-point range in a 92-72 loss for the Mountain Lions.
Before the excitement of the event had worn off, the game was over for all intents and purposes. Over the first 14 minutes, 20 seconds, Regis hit 10 of its 13 3-point attempts while UCCS countered with its usual moribund first-half performance, shooting just 27.8 percent. The Mountain Lions have now trailed in the first half of 14 of their 16 games, and by double digits in 10.
Regis hadn't shot the ball like that all year," said UCCS coach Stephen Kirkham. "Zone (defense) looked like a good way to go."
Instead, the Rangers shredded the zone by making shot after shot. By halftime, Emily Kuipers, Tae'lor Purdy and Jacque Machesny had combined for 43 points and nine 3-pointers. The Rangers, not surprisingly, took a 54-27 lead into the intermission.
Also not surprisingly, UCCS never recovered from the shelling. The Mountain Lions did play well in the second half, outscoring Regis 45-38 and scrapping to the end.
"We told them at halftime, 'you can go out and compete in front of this crowd and get them to come back and support you - or not - it's up to you," said UCCS coach Stephen Kirkham. "The second half, we went out and were aggressive and physical.
"They never quit, and you have to really, really appreciate that, but we have to find a way to start."
Kuipers led the Rangers (9-8, 2-7 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) with 24 points on 10-for-12 shooting (4-for-5 on 3-pointers), while Purdy added 21 and Salina Kuipers had 15. Machesney had 14 points and a game-high eight assists.
Mallory Lowe scored a career-high 26 points for UCCS (5-11, 1-7 RMAC). Laura Wolfinger added 14 and Lauren Holm 12. Lowe and Kallie Jiblits each grabbed nine rebounds.
Lowe's 15 free throws (on 16 attempts) set a new UCCS school record for a single game. The previous record was 14 set by Stephanie Frisch against Adams State on Jan. 24, 1997.
Regis teams under coach Linda Raunig have always shot well. In fact, over the past five seasons, the Rangers have ranked among the top three teams in the RMAC in 3-point shooting five times and in overall shooting percentage four.
This season's team has not lived up to that pedigree. The Rangers came into Friday shooting 40.2 percent overall and 31.8 percent from 3-point range.
Those numbers are quite a bit better now.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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