PUEBLO, Colo. -- Michelle Ambuul (Sr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) recovered her scoring touch and rang up 19 points to help lead the CSU-Pueblo ThunderWolves past the University of Nebraska-Kearney Lopers 79-65 on Friday night, notching the team’s sixth straight win and making the team’s RMAC opener one to savor.
Ambuul looked like she was set for a big night from the outset when she knocked down a pair of three-pointers to help give the women an early 14-10 lead. Mary Rehfeld (Sr., Juneau, Alaksa) also had a big night, adding 15 points and six rebounds. She also scored her 1,000th career point for CSU-Pueblo at the 9:40 mark in the first half.
The ThunderWolves made their way through a back and forth first half, making the most of 18 first half free throws. The women also took full advantage of Loper miscues, scoring eight times in the first half off of Kearney’s missed baskets.
Rehfeld hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Pack a 46-37 halftime lead, and the women picked up where they left off when the second half began.
Seven Kearney turnovers in the opening minutes of the second half allowed the ThunderWolves to stretch their lead, and the Lopers cooled off dramatically from the floor, shooting a meager 8-for-31 in the second period. In fact, Kearney managed only 28 points on 44 possession in the entire half.
That opened the door for the ThunderWolves’ shooters. Ambuul scored on a drive to the hoop at 14:45 to put the Pack ahead 55-44, and Shandryn Trumble (Sr., Green River, Wyo.) scored moments later on a fadeaway jumper from the baseline to further increase the lead.
Jonnie Draper (Sr., Littleton, Colo.), who finished with 12 points, nailed a three-pointer at 10:12 to put the women ahead 65-48, and everything went the Pack’s way after that. The ThunderWolves scored 15 times off of Loper misses, and shot almost 50 percent for the game.
Game notes and numbers:
The ThunderWolves benefitted from a sizable advantage from the free throw line, shooting 25-for-33 from the stripe.
Kristi Arness (Jr., Chico, Calif.) continued her hot shooting, going 2-for-2 from three-point range to record all six of her points in the game.
Rachel Espinoza (So., Pueblo, Colo.) scored all six of her points on 6-for-9 shooting from the free throw line.
Jennelle Branting (Fr., Littleton, Colo.) scored her first points of her CSU-Pueblo career tonight, making her 1-for-3 from the field for the season.