UCCS Women Come from Behind, Top Mountaineers
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs won its third straight game Friday night and did so in a familiar fashion. The Mountain Lions came from behind against the Western State Mountaineers to pull off a 69-62 victory in the Gallogly Events Center.
On Nov. 22, 2009, the Mountain Lions (5-7, 4-4 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) overcame a 21- point deficit to beat the Mountaineers (5-8, 3-6 RMAC) 56-52, the biggest comeback victory in school history. Friday's comeback was less dramatic but every bit as effective as UCCS trailed by 11 with 15:40 remaining in the game but outscored Western State 41-23 the rest of the way.
Sammi Gentile provided the team's first double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Mountain Lions. Lauren Wolfinger returned to her old ways as she scored 18, while fellow guard Jessica Brown provided 16. Brown also chipped in a game-high four assists.
"Getting to the basket was definitely my main focus," said Brown on her performance. "I was just looking for the right opportunity to do that."
The first half was back-and-forth most of the way until Wolfinger hit back-to-back threes, the second with 5:53 left on the clock, to put UCCS up six, 24-18. However, from that point on, the Mountain Lions went cold, and found themselves down one at the break, 25-24.
The cold spell continued into the second half.
As the Mountain Lions looked to be trying to adjust to the zone run by the Mountaineers, turnovers and missed shots helped feed a 14-4 run by Western State as UCCS found itself down 39-28 with 15:40 left in the contest.
From that point on the Mountain Lions took over.
UCCS went on a run of its own and a Payden Ackerman 3-pointer at the 12:34 mark capped the comeback, tying the game at 41.
"We're definitely a fighting team," stated Brown on the comeback. "When we saw we were down so much, it just clicked. We had to fight and get back into the game."
A layup next time down the court by Ashley Miller gave UCCS its first lead of the half. From that point forward, the Mountain Lions only trailed once (49-48 at the 8:37 mark) the rest of the game.
Western State took a timeout with the Mountain Lions up 51-49, after which UCCS went on an 5-2 run, quickly leading right back to another Mountaineer timeout with 5:50 left and UCCS holding all of the momentum.
The Mountaineers would close to within five (60-55) with 1:56 left in the game, but free throws by Gentile, Wolfinger and Brown prevented Western State from getting any closer down the stretch. With 1:40 left in the game, right before the Mountaineers went into foul mode, UCCS had only attempted four free throws in the game.
Coach Corey Laster pinned the early deficits on defense. "Defensively, I think we just have these slow starts. That's something we talk about; slow starts at the beginning of the (first) half and coming out of halftime."
Miller and Wolfinger each contributed three assists and Brown's twin sister, Danielle Brown led all players with three steals.
When asked about Gentile's double-double and her improved play, Brown shared, "She's definitely maturing as the season goes along and is starting to change the way she plays. She's getting more minutes and stepping up her game.
Megan Groen led the way offensively for the Mountaineers as she had a game-high 24 points. Michelle Dobbs added 10 and Brooke Pendergraft had a team high nine rebounds.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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