UCCS opens season with win over powerhouse Winona State

By Doug Fitzgerald published November 11, 2011

ST. PAUL, Minn. - In binary, the language used by computers, 111111 represents a question mark. On Friday, or 11/11/11, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs women's basketball team answered plenty of them.

The Mountain Lions showed an outstanding defense in knocking off perennial powerhouse Winona State 50-45 in a season-opening, neutral-site game at Concordia-St. Paul's Gangelhoff Center.

UCCS held the Warriors to 34 percent shooting, including just 22.2 percent on 3-pointers, in winning the first game of the Concordia Tip-Off Classic. The Mountain Lions also outrebounded Winona 36-27.

Freshman Abby Kirchoff led the Mountain Lions with 21 points and also had six rebounds and a pair of steals. Ashley Miller added 10 points and six rebounds, while Danielle Brown had a team-high seven rebounds. Jessica Brown chipped in four assists and three steals.

The Mountain Lions opened a 10-4 lead in the early going, four of those points coming from Hannah Knight. The advantage grew to 24-17 before Winona State closed with two straight field goals to cut the halftime gap to 24-21.

The Warriors took their first lead of the game with 12:01 remaining when Abby Busch hit a jumper to make it 29-28. Just 28 seconds later, Becca Friestleben drilled a 3-pointer to extend the lead to four.

UCCS answered shortly afterward with a 6-0 run to take a 34-32 and the seesaw ride began. Over the final 10 minutes, the lead changed hands five times with three ties.

The last of those lead changes happened when Kirchoff hit a jumper with 3:48 remaining to give UCCS a 44-43 lead. Single free throws, along with stifling defense, gave the Mountain Lions a three-point lead with just 43 second left. A steal by Jessica Brown became two more free throws by Kirchoff, making it 48-43.

Winona State made a layup with 11 seconds left but it was too late. Two more Kirchoff foul shots provided the final margin.

Michelle McDonald led Winona State with 21 points.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jessica BrownJessica Brown22GSr.
Jessica BrownJessica Brown22GSr.
Danielle BrownDanielle Brown21GJr.
Danielle BrownDanielle Brown21GSr.
Abby KirchoffAbby Kirchoff20GSo
Abby KirchoffAbby Kirchoff20GSo
Hannah KnightHannah Knight35CSo
Hannah KnightHannah Knight35CSo
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