Kirchoff Moves Up Scoring Charts at CSU-Pueblo

By Jared Verner published January 4, 2014

PUEBLO, Colo. - Abby Kirchoff finished with her eighth 20-point game of the season and led the University of Colorado Colorado Springs with five assists as the Mountain Lion (4-7 / 3-4 RMAC) fell 65-64 to Colorado State-Pueblo (10-3 / 7-0 RMAC) tonight in Massari Arena.

Kirchoff improved to seventh in UCCS career scoring records with 22 points, helped by a four-of-six performance from the three-point line. Jessica Kienitz added 13 points and finished with team highs on defense with six rebounds and three blocked shots.

The Mountain Lions finished the first half on a 10-2 run to pull within eight points of the ThunderWolves at 28-26 by halftime. Kirchoff had 10 points and two steals in the first half and Sammi Gentile led the rebounding effort with four boards.

Kirchoff converted on a pair of free throws after a technical foul was assessed to CSU-Pueblo to provide UCCS its first lead of the game at 40-39 with 11:52 to play. Kienitz expanded the lead to eight points at 57-49 for the Mountain Lions on a fastbreak layup with 5:21 remaining. Kellie Kruger, who was making her first appearance of the conference season, kept it a six-point game at 59-53 on a layup with 4:32 to play.

The Mountain Lion struggled offensively in the final minutes of the game with a pair of shot clock violations, but after the ThunderWolves retook the lead with 1:38 to play, UCCS stayed within a possession because of three-of-six free throw shooting by CSU-Pueblo. The ThunderWolves made it a two-possession game with five seconds to play at 65-61, and Kienitz made a buzzer-beater from midcourt to make it a one-point loss at 65-64.

Jeri Pikul finished with 14 points for her fourth consecutive 10-point game, and went perfect at the free throw line for the second straight game. She also shot better than 40 percent from the field (five-of-12) for the sixth straight game, dating back to Dec. 7.

Up Next: UCCS will remain on the road next week for a Thursday-Friday schedule on the Western Slope. The Mountain Lions will take on Western State (5-8 / 5-3 RMAC) on Jan. 9, in Gunnison, Colo.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Abby KirchoffAbby Kirchoff20GJr.
Jessica KienitzJessica Kienitz10GJr.
Jeri PikulJeri Pikul24GSr.
Kellie KruegerKellie Krueger44FJr.
Sammi GentileSammi Gentile30FJr.
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