|Posted February 7, 2009|
ThunderWolves continue rise with win over WNMU
SILVER CITY, N.M. - A week ago, the ThunderWolves' seemed like they would be on the outside looking in the RMAC Playoff picture.
But suddenly, after a 76-67 win over Western New Mexico Saturday night, the Pack's second straight win, CSU-Pueblo is on the fast track not only for a playoff spot, but perhaps hosting a first-round game in the RMAC playoffs.
The Pack fired on all cylinders against a potentially dangerous Western New Mexico team, shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half and riding a 5-for-5, 11-point first half performance by Rachel Espinoza (So., Pueblo, Colo.) to a 40-27 halftime advantage, the Pack's largest halftime lead of the season. Espinoza led all scorers with 17 points on a 6-for-8 performance from the field.
Despite the Pack's big halftime lead, Western New Mexico found its shot in the second half, shooting over 50 percent from the field in the second frame, and getting as close as seven, 67-60, with 1:56 remaining.
But the ThunderWolves kept the Mustangs' advance at bay, thanks to four points down the stretch by Michelle Ambuul (Sr., Colorado Springs, Colo.), part of her 14 points on the night, giving the Pack an 11-point advantage before the Mustangs added a few cosmetic points, leading the ThunderWolves' final 9-point winning margin.
The ThunderWolves got big nights from Mary Rehfeld (Sr., Juneau, Alaska), who had 15 points, and Jonnie Draper (Sr., Littleton, Colo.), who set a career high in steals with six in a 7-point performance.
The Pack's win vaults them to 14-7, the third-highest win total in the RMAC, and 8-5 in RMAC play. The ThunderWolves' 8-5 mark leaves them tied for third place in the RMAC with Nebraska-Kearney, who the Pack defeated in December. The ThunderWolves will continue their four-game road trip at No. 3 Fort Lewis next Friday before travelling to Alamosa Saturday to take on Adams State.