UCCS Women Outlast Orediggers, Get First RMAC Win of 2010-11 Campaign
COLORADO SPRINGS- Playing one of the NCAA's toughest opening schedules paid off in a big way for the Mountain Lions.
Ashley Miller had 13 points and Lauren Wolfinger added 12 points and six assists to lead the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to a 59-54 victory over the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers Friday evening at the Gallogly Events Center.
The Mountain Lions first six opponents were a combined 33-6 through this past week and included the defending national champion, the defending national runner up, both of which are among the national Top 25 this season, along with two other teams listed as among "others receiving votes."
"We just grinded it out. We didn't shoot well, but we kept fighting and crawling back into the game," said Miller on the hard fought win and opening schedule. "We play four of the top teams to start and we knew coming in (to this weekend) we had to get two wins."
Jeri Pikul and Jessica Brown each added nine points, for UCCS, which improved to 2-5 and 1-2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Along with her 13 points, Miller also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds while fellow forward Alyse Bessert contributed eight of her own.
"It starts in practice," said the junior on her performance. "Having a different mentality and playing hard carries over to the weekends. My teammates playing hard carries over to me (as well)."
Five different Mountain Lions scored as UCCS opened a 10-2 lead. A 3-pointer by Wolfinger boosted the advantage to 16-4, and the Mountain Lions' largest lead of the game with 11:51 left in the first half. The Orediggers struggled with UCCS' pressure defense through the first half of the opening period, making just two of their 12 field goal attempts and committing six turnovers.
However, better shooting by the Orediggers combined with UCCS' going 1-13 from the field down the stretch led to the Mountain Lions clinging to a one point (22-21) lead at the break.
Coming out of the half, Danielle Brown hit a quick 3-pointer to put UCCS up 25-21.
The next ten minutes was a game of streaks.
A 12-0 run by the Orediggers put them up 33-25.
An 8-0 run by the Mountain Lions knotted back up at 33 all.
From there, a 9-2 run by the Orediggers opened up a 42-35 lead.
UCCS answered once again with a 10-2 run of their own to put them up 45-44.
The game then settled down a bit and after trading baskets the teams found themselves all tied up once again at 54-54 with 1:41 showing on the clock
Miller hit a jumper to put the Mountain Lions on top for good with 1:25 left. From there, made free throws by Wolfinger and Pikul sealed the deal and provided UCCS with its first RMAC victory of the 2010-11 season.
The Mountain Lions caused 18 turnovers while only committing a season low, 11. Of the 18 turnovers caused, 10 of them were of the steal variety.
"More of a focus in practice," said Miler on ball control. "The way we practice is the way we play. That was our mentality this week; watching turnovers and taking care of the ball. Defense is always our main focus."
Pikul had a game high three steals while the Brown sisters and Wolfinger each added 2.
Brecca Gaffney, Courtney Gallo and Tory Langas each scored 11 points for Mines (4-3, 0-2 RMAC).
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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