UCCS to take on Fort Lewis tonight in RMAC Shootout Final Four

By Nathan Gibson published March 2, 2012

GAME PREVIEW:  When college basketball teams get to March, it's not always about who's played well since November, but who's peaking at the right time.  The Lady Mountain Lions, who have won 6 of their last 7 games including their thrilling playoff victory against CSU-Pueblo on Tuesday night, remain the hottest team in the RMAC Tournament going into tonights game with Fort Lewis College.

Case and point, ask CSU-Pueblo about peaking at the right time.  The Mountain Lions came off of what some people might call an "improbable" victory, due to the fact CSU-P had beaten the Mountain Lions twice during the regular season, but UCCS fans knew going into Tuesday night that no team in the league was playing better basketball than UCCS. In the post season, throw the records, national rankings, and awards out the window; this time of year is all about who is playing the best and peaking at the right time. 

Now the Mountain Lions go into the RMAC Shootout Final Four playing against a Fort Lewis team that dropped 2 of their last 5 games of the regular season, including an 84-78 loss to the Mountain Lions on February 11 in the Gallogly Events Center.  Fort Lewis, during the regular season, climbed as high as  #3 in the nation, but that was before the Mountain Lions and Colorado Mines beat them down the stretch.

In the previous match up, the UCCS victory over the Skyhawks was highlighted by stellar play from Freshman Abby Kirchoff and Seniors Jessica Brown and Ashley Miller.  Kirchoff, on her way to being RMAC Player of the Week, scored 28 points on a near flawless shooting performance.  Brown could not be stopped as she scored 20 points, going 8-9 from the field.  Miller, chipped in 15 of her own.

Taking some clues from the previous match up, Fort Lewis provides some tough match ups of their own given their style of play and ability to score.  Most of the Skyhawk wins this season have included long scoring stretches where the game would be close, but they would blow open the game with a large scoring run.  However, UCCS presents a tough match up given the fact the Mountain Lion have not allowed many team, especially recently, to go on big runs.  In fact, in the Pueblo game, the Mountain Lions responded to small runs from opponents by saying whatever you can do, I can do better by responding to your 8-0 run with a 16-4 run of their own.  This needs to be the mantra tonight.

Fort Lewis will also need to decide who they plan to stop defensively for the Mountain Lions.  Miller, coming off arguably the best game of her career, will present a tough match up.  Jessica Brown, who can finish at the hoop no matter the angle, will present a tough assignment no matter who the opponent is.  Kirchoff will without a doubt get the majority of the attention after lighting up the Skyhawks in the previous match up.  Which bring up another key: the Mountain Lions' depth.  Danielle Brown has been playing her best basketball of the season, averaging double digits in most games down the stretch.  Mountain Lions also know that shooters like Lauren Wolfinger, Jeri Pikul or Senior Payden Ackerman can go off at any point, especially given the friendly shooting background at the Fair Grounds.  And we haven't even mentioned Sammi Gentile, who, given enough touches, can take over a game in the post. 

Mountain Lion fans have been waiting for another opportunity to showcase their talents in the RMAC Shootout and are primed for tonights game. RMAC Shootout information including driving directions, ticket prices and all tournament information is available at www.RMACSports.org.

Go Mountain Lions...Beat the Skyhawks!

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Abby KirchoffAbby Kirchoff20GSo
Abby KirchoffAbby Kirchoff20GSo
Additional News Stories
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February 29, 2012Spirit Bus Headed to Pueblo for RMAC ShootoutATTENTION UCCS Women's Basketball Fans:
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