|Posted November 1, 2007|
ThunderWolves fall short of DU in exhibition hoops opener
DENVER, Colo. - The ThunderWolves looked to work out all the
early-season kinks in a road exhibition matchup with Division I
Denver University Thursday, falling 58-43 to the Pioneers.
The Pack had trouble getting up the speed in the first half, as the score languished in the single digits before both squads got going, but the ThunderWolves fell several steps behind, trailing at half 29-15. Junior forward Mary Rehfeld led all scorers in the first half with 11 points, helped along by a 3-for-5 performance on three-pointers, but the rest of the Pack shooters struggled to consistently find the bucket, left with a .167 field goal percentage.
"We spent way too much time on the perimeter in the first half," Pack coach Kip Drown said. "Take away Mary, and we were just 2-for-11, and that won't beat a division three team, let alone a division one."
The Pack did pick it up in the second half, despite not staging a credible comeback. The Pioneers only outscored the ThunderWolves 29-28 as the Pack raised their shooting percentage to .334 and went 3-for-8 on three-pointers.
Freshman Rachel Espinoza had a coming-out party of sorts for the ThunderWolves in the second half, displaying an up tempo game and preying on the Pioneers while in the transition, logging two steals and scoring eight of her nine points in the second half.
"Rachel is at her best when she's in the middle of the floor," Drown said, "and she is always looking to create something. What you saw tonight was just a tip of the iceberg as to what she could do."
Overall, Drown said, he felt that the Pack played decently considering it was their first exhibition game, but didn't only showed "about 50 percent of where we're going to be," he said.
"DU had a very physical defense, and they took us out of a lot of plays, and we weren't ready to handle that," Drown said. "But that's the great thing about exhibitions. We saw those defensive adjustments they made, and now we get to work on them and get better so we don't get hurt by them in regular season games."
The ThunderWolves will continue their exhibition schedule Saturday night in Fort Collins when they take on the Colorado State Rams at 2 p.m.