Sammi Gentile, Wolfinger Light Up Blackout Night
Sammi Gentile had 18 points and 17 rebounds and Lauren Wolfinger had 20 points to lead the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to a 67-53 win over the Western New Mexico Mustangs before a Blackout Night crowd of 933.
Gentile's rebound number tied for the third-highest single-game total in school history. The UCCS record is 20 by Val Romero on Jan. 23, 1995.
"I'm really happy for her because she was able to show what our team already knows about her," said Wolfinger on her teammate's big night, "and that's that she is very capable of being a dominate post player."
Wolfinger added eight rebounds to her stat line, while Jessica Brown and Ashley Miller each had seven as the Mountain Lions grabbed a season-high 53 boards. Miller also blocked three shots.
"I think our energy was really helpful and our team execution," said the Mountain Lion's leading scorer on her play. "It just really helps when you can get a flow to the game and you don't have to think about your shots and it just comes naturally."
Jaleesa Russell led Western New Mexico (1-17, 1-13 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) with 15 points, while Morgan Wohltman added 11. Christa Kennedy had a team-high nine rebounds.
With a boisterous crowd already in excess of 800 at tip-off and coming off a disastrous loss to previously winless Chadron State a week ago, it was expected that the Mountain Lions would come out with high emotion. With that, however, came a case of the jitters as UCCS missed its first five field goal attempts.
"Of course it's always fun to play in front of a crowd that size with that noise," Wolfinger commented on Blackout Night. "It really helps to keep your intensity up during the whole game and show the students what we have been working on the last couple months."
The Mountain Lions came out of the funk just after the midway point of the first half, putting together a 14-1 run to go up 31-15 with 5:31 left in the half. Western New Mexico used a slappy press defense to get an 8-0 spurt as the half closed to finish the period down just 10 at 37-27.
UCCS was able to maintain the second-half lead between seven and 11 through the first 10 minutes of the second half before a six-point UCCS spurt put the game out of reach at 65-49 with just 1:41 remaining.
When asked about getting a win after a tough four-game skid, Wolfinger said "It obviously really helps our confidence in moving forward and focusing on what works for us and what gets us successful outcomes. We really need to play consistently from here on out and this was a good start for that."
The Mountain Lions improved to 7-11 overall and 6-8 in the RMAC.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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