Kirchoff Scores 27 in RMAC Opener

By Jared Verner published December 6, 2013

DURANGO, Colo. - Abby Kirchoff led the University of Colorado Colorado Springs scoring for the fifth time this season and moved up to No. 10 in career scoring records as the Mountain Lions (1-4 / 0-1 RMAC) fell 68-64 to Fort Lewis (4-1 / 1-0 RMAC). It was the conference opener for both teams in Whalen Gymnasium.

It was Kirchoff's fourth 20-point game of the season. She matched her career-high with five made three pointers and went six-of-six at the free throw line for her second perfect performance of the season. Kirchoff also moved past Amber Anderson to take No. 10 in UCCS career scoring records and improved to 877 career poins.

The Mountain Lions put together a 9-2 run during a three minute stretch in the first half to take a 17-11 lead with 6 minutes and 25 seconds left in the period. Fort Lewis cut the lead down to one point at 23-22 with 47 seconds left in the half, but UCCS maintained its lead and entered halftime ahead 27-22.

Sam Patterson and Kirchoff led the Mountain Lions at halftime with six and five rebounds, respectively. UCCS outrebounded the Skyhawks 22-18 in the first half and shot 41 percent from the field compared to Fort Lewis' 24 percent.

UCCS scored on three of its first four possessions in the second half to expand its lead up to eight points, 34-26, with 17:30 left to play. The Skyhawks responded with a 10-2 run to tie the game with 15 minutes to play and began a back-and-forth game.

Jeri Pikul capped an eight-point Mountain Lion with a free throw after the under-10 media timeout that made it a five-point lead for UCCS, 49-44, but it turned back into a four-point Fort Lewis lead five minutes later. Patterson brought it down to a three-point game at 62-59 with a layup with 1:50 to go, but the Mountain Lions were forced to being fouling Fort Lewis to stop the clock after a missed game-tying three-pointer with 1:31 to play.

Fort Lewis took a 64-59 lead with 39 seconds left, but then received the ball back after a Mountain Lion turnover with 32 seconds left. UCCS committed only its seventh team foul of the half to send the Skyhawks to the line for a one-and-one opportunity, and Sammi Gentile picked up the rebound after a missed first attempt. Abby Kirchoff was sent to the line with seven seconds left, and made both to take it back to a three-point game at 64-61.

The Skyhawks made its next two free throws, and Kirchoff made it a two-point game at 66-64 with a three-pointer with 0.2 seconds left. A foul away from the ball on the inbounds play sent Fort Lewis to the line again to finish the game at 68-64.

Jessica Kienitz scored a career-high 13 points and added three assists. Patterson led both teams with a season-high 10 rebounds.

Up Next: The Mountain Lions travel to Alamosa, Colo., for a 6 p.m., game against Adams State on Saturday. The Grizzlies (4-1 / 0-1 RMAC) fell to Colorado State-Pueblo tonight 77-44.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Abby KirchoffAbby Kirchoff20GJr.
Sam PattersonSam Patterson32F/CJr.
Jessika KienitzJessika Kienitz10GJr.
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