|Posted March 6, 2009|
Pack stuns Fort Lewis - again - in RMAC Shootout
RMAC Semifinal: No. 4 CSU-Pueblo 83, No. 1 (#4) Fort Lewis 65
Fort Lewis can beat the ThunderWolves all they want in the regular season.
But one thing is for sure in the ThunderWolves' annual struggle with the Skyhawks, ranked fourth in the nation coming into Friday's RMAC Semifinal matchup at the Colorado State Fairgrounds Events Center in Pueblo - in the playoffs, the Pack owns the Skyhawks.
After losing twice to the Skyhawks during the regular season, CSU-Pueblo claimed its fourth playoff win over Fort Lewis in as many seasons, handing the Skyhawks its largest loss of its 26-3 campaign, earning the 83-65 win.
CSU-Pueblo will now take on the winner of tonight's Nebraska-Kearney/Colorado Mines game in the RMAC Championship tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the Colorado State Fair Events Center.
The ThunderWolves, which suffered its worse loss of the season on Feb. 13 at Fort Lewis by an 89-55 score, wasted no time taking over the game. CSU-Pueblo jumped out to a 14-8 lead thanks to back-to-back threes by Mary Rehfeld (Sr., Juneau, Alaska) and Jonnie Draper (Sr., Littleton, Colo.), and never looked back.
Fort Lewis would get as close as one in the first half, riding the effort of Allison Rosel, who recorded 18 points and 14 rebounds, but for the most part, the rest of the Skyhawk lineup was held in check.
Fort Lewis' all-RMAC selection, Laura Haugen, was held to just 10 points on 4-for-10 shooting, and RMAC Defensive Player of the Year selection, Audrey George, netted just five rebounds and one block, scoring just three points.
Meanwhile, the Pack got what every team needs in the playoffs - a player to come off the bench and step up. Friday, that player was Sarah Staggs (Jr., Glendale, Ariz.).
An all-RMAC honorable mention selection last season, Staggs has been relegated to bench duty this season after coming back slowly from an injury. But Staggs returned to her 2007-08 form, setting season-highs in points (12), rebounds (5) and assists (2).
Staggs was joined by Shandryn Trumble (Sr., Green River, Wyo.), who also came off the bench to score 12 points. Trumble sank two threes, and most importantly, stepped up her play when starting wing Michelle Ambuul (Sr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) was forced to miss a few minutes with an injury. In Ambuul's stead, Trumble scored five points, sinking a three.
With the win, the record of ThunderWolf coach Kip Drown in the RMAC Tournament improves to 9-1 as the Pack finds itself in the RMAC Championship game for the third time in four seasons. CSU-Pueblo also set a team mark in knocking off the fourth-ranked Skyhawks, the highest-ranked team the ThunderWolves had ever defeated.