RMAC Quarterfinal: No. 4 CSU-Pueblo 57, No. 5 Metro State 54
Sometimes, it's not always the teams that play better that win the games.
Sometimes, in the case of the ThunderWolves' RMAC Quarterfinal win over Metro State Tuesday night, the team with the experience and the moxie to win sometimes pulls it off.
CSU-Pueblo forced mental mistakes by the visiting Roadrunners, wresting back a game that was Metro State's for the taking, and pulling out an unlikely 57-54 win.
The ThunderWolves now qualify for the RMAC Final Four, the fourth straight season they had done so. CSU-Pueblo will now take on top-seeded Fort Lewis at the RMAC Shootout, held at the Colorado State Fair Events Center in Pueblo.
The ThunderWolves stormed ahead as Metro State self-destructed late in the game. Metro State's Megan Sinclair, who was practically unstoppable for 95 percent of the game, scoring 16 points and taking down an unbelievable 16 rebounds. But Sinclair committed two costly turnovers inside of two minutes remaining, and the wily ThunderWolves, used to playoff pressure, took advantage.
The Pack turned a 54-47 Metro State lead with 3:55 remaining into a 54-53 game with 1:21 remaining. After several missed shots on both sides of the court, Metro State committed a major mistake - fouling Michelle Ambuul (Sr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) following a three-point shot with nine seconds remaining, and sending Ambuul to the line.
With ice water through her veins, Ambuul sank both charities, giving the Pack a 55-54 lead.
The game was iced on the inbounds pass, as Jonnie Draper (Sr., Littleton, Colo.) intercepted the initial pass from Metro State's Leandra Sands, prompting another foul and another two free throws for the Pack.
With one last chance to win, Mary Rehfeld (Sr., Juneau, Alaska) came through with a big block of a three-point attempt, and the ThunderWolves came away with another playoff thriller.
The Pack, the defending RMAC Tournament champions, won their fourth consecutive RMAC Tournament game.
PACK NOTES: CSU-Pueblo's fourth-year head coach, Kip Drown, improved to a stellar 8-1 overall in RMAC Tournament games ... The ThunderWolves are a perfect 4-0 in home playoff games in the RMAC Tournament (2009, 2007, 2004, 2003).