GUNNISON, Colo. - Facing a Western State team that starts three freshmen, but has seemed to find lightning in a bottle in 2008-09, CSU-Pueblo became the latest victim of a team on the rise, losing 78-67 in Gunnison Friday.
Western State (9-7 overall, 5-4 RMAC) established control early and led for nearly the entire game. Aside from the very beginning, when CSU-Pueblo jumped out to a 2-0 lead, the Mountaineers were able to make shots and frustrate the Pack offensively. Western State was led by Amber Murray, who put up 23 points on the Pack in the first half alone, part of her 33 points overall.
CSU-Pueblo didn't have many answers to Western State's attack, but got a great game from Rachel Espinoza (So., Pueblo, Colo.). Espinoza recorded a career-high 23 points, going 7-for-14 from the field sinking 8-of-9 charities for the ThunderWolves. Espinoza also added seven assists and registered three steals.
Aside from a career-high five three-pointers from Jonnie Draper (Sr., Littleton, Colo.), the ThunderWolves got little offensive production elsewhere. The rest of the Pack starters were just 3-for-22 from the field.
CSU-Pueblo fell to 11-6 and 5-4 in RMAC play with the loss. The ThunderWolves come back to Pueblo Friday when it hosts Adams State at Massari Arena.