Despite 3-point Frenzy, Mountain Lions Fall
Payden Ackerman and Lauren Wolfinger combined for 39 points and 10 3-pointers, but the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was unable to match up with the Adams State inside game as the Grizzlies took home a 76-61 decision Saturday evening at the Gallogly Events Center.
Ackerman drained six 3-pointers to account for all of her 18 points. Wolfinger had four treys and a team-high 21 points. Danielle Brown, standing just 5-foot-8, led the Mountain Lions with nine rebounds and five steals.
"I just felt like coming off the bench I had to step up." said Ackerman on her 3-point performance. "It's hard to play back to back nights. Coming off the bench being rested I felt like it was on me to pull some weight tonight."
The Mountain Lions got off to a slow start as they fell behind 13-3 to start the game. However, they managed to overcome the 10 point deficit with a 3-point frenzy.
From 13-3, UCCS went on a 21-6 run that was highlighted by three 3-pointers by Ackerman, one by Wolfinger and one from Jeri Pikul. The run by the Mountain Lions left them with their largest lead of the game (five), 24-19.
However, with an 11-5 run of their own, the Grizzlies found themselves up one at the break.
Like in the first, the Mountain Lions struggled out of the gate as Adams State went on a 17-6 run to start play in the second half.
"Mostly it was about effort." commented Ackerman on the slow starts. "I think when we come out we need to just get after it off the jump and tonight our mindset wasn't on our effort."
More three pointers by Ackerman and Wolfinger helped the Mountain Lions manage to close the gap one more time. A layup by Kallie Jiblits shrunk the lead to just seven at the 7:03 mark.
From that point on however, the Grizzlies yet again went on one of their streaks, this one 14-6, to close out the game with their largest lead (15), at 76-61.
"They were really strong and we did not match their physicality." said the junior from Trinidad. "I think we need to focus on dictating what they need to do and not the other way around."
After a nearly even first half, the Grizzlies dominated the boards in the second 23-8. The final margin was 44-28 and the Mountain Lions didn't have one player on the stat-sheet with double digit boards.
The rebounding edge looked like a problem for the Mountain Lions before the game even began. Adams State came into Friday second in the RMAC in rebounding margin, averaging 16.4 per game more that its opponents. UCCS, meanwhile, came in last in the conference at -8.4.
Ackerman once again contributed mindset to the rebounding debacle. "It comes down to our effort and the lack of that we had tonight. A lot of those rebounds it's about wanting the ball and we just didn't prove that tonight."
Adams State was whistled for an improbably low eight fouls in the game, the second fewest ever by a UCCS opponent and the lowest by an opponent when UCCS was the home team. The fewest ever by a UCCS opponent was seven at Northern Colorado on Jan. 6, 2004. The previous fewest opponent fouls when UCCS was the home team was nine against Colorado College on Nov. 30, 2004.
Vera Jo Bustos made six 3-pointers to lead Adams State (6-2, 1-1 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) with 23 points. Forwards Kendra Coveal and Kelsie Kruger were dominant, with Coveal getting 14 points and 10 rebounds and Kruger accounting for 13 points and 13 rebounds.
UCCS' opponents so far this season have included the defending national champion, the defending national runner-up and three teams that have been listed as "also receiving votes" on the national coaches' poll. Their 31-5 combined record makes the Mountain Lions' opening slate among the most difficult in the nation.
It doesn't get much easier for UCCS, which dropped to 1-5, 0-2 RMAC. Its next opponent is 4-2 Colorado School of Mines, which is also listed as "also receiving votes" in the national poll.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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