|Posted December 9, 2011|
Pack holds off a fiesty Colorado Christian squad
Late comeback attempt by Cougars comes up short.
LAKEWOOD, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Dec. 9, 2011) - A 14-point second half lead nearly walked away from the ThunderWolves Friday, but a stone cold three-pointer by Kendall Babler (Sr., Rifle, Colo.) with one minute remaining staved off the would-be comeback as the Pack claimed a 59-52 win.
CSU-Pueblo turned a 24-23 halftime lead turned into a 39-25 Pack lead after it opened the second half on a 15-2 run. But the ThunderWolves began to stumble, committing 13 of its 22 turnovers in the second half as Christian used a 15-6 run to cut the Pack's lead to 49-45 with 6:54 remaining.
After a three by Babler, CSU-Pueblo would miss two shots and turn the ball over three times, giving Colorado Christian ample opportunity to close the gap, getting to within 52-50 with 2:37 remaining.
The Pack again missed a pair of shots, only mustering a free throw make while Christian closed the gap to 53-52 with 1:32 remaining.
Badly needing a basket, the ThunderWolves ran a play to Babler, its top scorer, and she calmly sank the back-breaking three-pointer with 1:03 remaining that turned the tenuous one-point lead into a four-point advantage, snatching the momentum from the Cougars.
"That was a big time shot," Pack coach Kip Drown said. "It couldn't have come at a better time, and we weren't shooting the three very well up until that point, so it was a big one."
Forced to hit big shots and foul its way out, CSU-Pueblo added three more points down the stretch to finally retire the Cougars 59-52.
Babler led all scorers with 14 points while both Erica Hicks (Jr., Lakewood, Colo.) and Katie Nehf (Fr., Broomfield, Colo.) each threatened for double-doubles, going for nine rebounds each and nine points and eight points, respectively.
The win helped erase memories of the Pack's last trip to Lakewood, when it gave up 96 points to the Cougars - the most ever by a Kip Drown-coached team - in the RMAC Quarterfinals last season. It marked the third time in as many tries that CSU-Pueblo has defeated an RMAC opponent after giving up 90-plus points in the previous meeting.
CSU-Pueblo, now 5-2 and 2-1 in RMAC play, will travel to Colorado School of Mines Saturday night to close the weekend.