'Lone wolf' Mountain Lions finish difficult season with loss to Metro State
DENVER â€" Caley Fisher matched her career high with 11 points as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs completed its season with a 59-47 loss to the Metro State Roadrunners Saturday evening at Auraria Event Center.
The Mountain Lions finished with a 2-17 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record (6-21 overall). The mark matched the 1997-98 squad for worst RMAC record ever for a UCCS womenâ€TMs basketball team.
Fridayâ€TMs game was the second in two nights for UCCS, while Metro State hadnâ€TMt played since Tuesday as the RMACâ€TMs â€œlone wolfâ€ scheduling format again took its toll.
Each of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conferenceâ€TMs two divisions is comprised of seven teams. Six of those are paired off as travel partners, with both teams playing a comparable set of travel partners on a given weekend. The seventh team becomes what is referred to as the â€œlone wolf.â€ That team has the misfortune of having to play two teams â€" each of which plays only one game that week â€" on back-to-back nights. The obvious result is that, on the second night, the lone wolf is playing on tired legs against a team that has fresh legs. This seasonâ€TMs â€œlone wolvesâ€ have been UCCS and Western New Mexico.
â€œ(Friday) was lone wolf all over,â€ said UCCS coach Stephen Kirkham. â€œThe kids executed our defensive gameplan really well the whole game. The lone wolf got us. It was 41-40 with (nine) minutes to go and we missed like five shots in a row. It was fatigue every time.â€
The actual count was eight straight misses as the dead-legged Mountain Lions shot just 27.3 percent for the game.
â€œI think itâ€TMs pretty difficult,â€ said UCCS senior Janean Jubic. â€œThey hadnâ€TMt played since Tuesday and we had to play 40 minutes (on Thursday).â€
Jubic and fellow senior Lauren Holm played their final games as Mountain Lions on Friday. Jubic retires as No. 3 on the UCCS all-time list in assists and No. 4 in 3-pointers made. Holm ends her career No. 3 all-time in free throw percentage.
â€œItâ€TMs been a really good experience; Iâ€TMve really grown a lot,â€ said Jubic. â€œIâ€TMve enjoyed my time athletically and Iâ€TMve also enjoyed the academics. UCCS has been great.â€
Fisher, a junior transfer from Western Nebraska Community College, also led the Mountain Lions with nine rebounds, just barely missing her first career double-double. Ashley Miller, Holm and Alyse Bessert each added six boards as the Mountain Lions outrebounded Metro 41-40, the first time they outrebounded an opponent in 16 games.
Brandi Valencia led playoff-bound Metro State (16-11, 11-8) with 14 points. Her sister, Kristin, had a game-high 10 rebounds and was one of four Roadrunners to score eight points.
Metro State led by as many as eight in the first half and was ahead 23-17 when Lauren Wolfinger sank two free throws and followed those with a nifty left-handed layup to cut the gap to 23-21. After a Roadrunner free throw, Bessert hit two free throws and Fisher knocked down a 3-pointer to give UCCS its first lead since the opening minute at 26-24. Fisherâ€TMs shot was set up by Holmâ€TMs offensive rebound and pass.
Metro State scored the periodâ€TMs final six points to take a 30-26 lead into the intermission. UCCS committed 10 first-half turnovers but the Roadrunners managed only two points off of them.
The Roadrunners hit two 3-pointers and a breakaway layup in the first two minutes of the second half to take stretch the gap to 10 at 38-28. It took UCCS another four minutes to cut its deficit back to its halftime status.
Janean Jubicâ€TMs 3-pointer with 12:55 left tied the game at 38. The Mountain Lions took the lead, 41-40, on another Fisher 3-pointer 3:34 later.
But that would prove to be UCCSâ€TM last lead as the Mountain Lions hit the wall - hard.
â€œWe got good shots; we ran the offense,â€ said Jubic. â€œWe took the shots we were supposed to shoot but everything was a little bit short.â€
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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