'Lone wolf' Mountain Lions finish difficult season with loss to Metro State

By Doug Fitzgerald published February 26, 2010

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 “lone wolf” 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 “lone wolf.” 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 “lone wolves” have been UCCS and Western New Mexico.

“(Friday) was lone wolf all over,” said UCCS coach Stephen Kirkham. “The 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.”

The actual count was eight straight misses as the dead-legged Mountain Lions shot just 27.3 percent for the game.

“I think itâ€TMs pretty difficult,” said UCCS senior Janean Jubic. “They hadnâ€TMt played since Tuesday and we had to play 40 minutes (on Thursday).”

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.

“Itâ€TMs been a really good experience; Iâ€TMve really grown a lot,” said Jubic. “Iâ€TMve enjoyed my time athletically and Iâ€TMve also enjoyed the academics. UCCS has been great.”

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.

“We got good shots; we ran the offense,” said Jubic. “We took the shots we were supposed to shoot but everything was a little bit short.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Lauren HolmLauren Holm22G
Lauren HolmLauren Holm22G
Lauren HolmLauren Holm22G
Lauren HolmLauren Holm22G
Janean JubicJanean Jubic21GSr.
Janean JubicJanean Jubic21GJr.
Janean JubicJanean Jubic12GSo.
Janean JubicJanean Jubic12GFr.
Caley FisherCaley Fisher5F
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