UCCS falls to national runner-ups
COLORADO SPRINGS-Six days after scoring a stunning upset of the defending national champions, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs couldn't find enough left to also beat the defending national runner-up as the Mountain Lions dropped a 79-69 decision to the No. 3-ranked Fort Lewis Skyhawks Friday evening at Gallogly Events Center.
Lauren Wolfinger led UCCS (1-4, 0-1 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) with 24 points, while Jessica Brown and Ashley Miller each had 10. Miller led the team with eight rebounds.
"Once we started getting into some kind of flow in the second half, I noticed more driving lanes in the middle." said Miller on her solid all-around performance. " We needed to be more aggressive. I thought "If I could get to the hoop or even the free throw line it would open up shooters on the perimeter.'"
The Mountain Lions lead 4-3 early on, but quickly relinquished the lead and saw the Skyhawks (6-0, 1-0 RMAC) push the margin to as many as nine. UCCS managed to get it back down to a two-point spread at the 3:01 mark before seeing Fort Lewis go into halftime up seven, 36-29.
The Skyhawks played a full-court press much of the first half and, at times, it was too much for the Mountain Lions to handle. UCCS only shot 32% from the floor in the first and had 12 turnovers, five of which were Fort Lewis steals.
"We knew going in what their press looked like. We spent a ton of time in practice and we talked about a couple adjustments." said Miller. "We were a little passive and we needed to be more aggressive. We just didn't get it done"
Fort Lewis came out of the break on a 11-2 run, extending their lead to 46-31.
The Mountain Lions battled back and cut it the deficit to 10, but the Skyhawks once again went on a run; this time, opening their biggest lead of the game (18) with 9:31 remaining.
After a UCCS timeout, a 17-5 run by the Mountain Lions had them right back in the contest as they were only down five (59-54) with six minutes left in the game. The run was highlighted by eight points from Wolfinger, including two 3-pointers, and two free throws by Miller at the six minute mark to close the gap to five.
"One thing that's different about this team is that we do have fight, we don't roll over against teams." Miller commented on the teams ability to battle back. "I think the turning point was 18 down. The thing is we can't keep playing from behind."
The Skyhawks managed yet another run and hit free throws down the stretch to avoid the upset, as the game finally settled at 79-69.
Dana Schreibvogel led Fort Lewis with 28 points and tied with Mary Rose Paiz for a game-high 11 rebounds. Abby Jackson added 17 points and five assists, while Paiz had 13 points.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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