|Posted January 7, 2012|
ThunderWolves end hex vs. Western State with overtime win
Pack claims first road win over Western State since 2005.
GUNNISON, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Jan. 7, 2012) - In his time as head coach of the CSU-Pueblo women's basketball team, there are very few things Kip Drown-led teams haven't accomplished.
Oddly enough, defeating Western State on the road was one of them. And Saturday, it seemed as if that fact would continue to be true after the Pack let a 14-point lead with 6:31 remaining disappear.
But the ThunderWolves finally grabbed that elusive road win, dominating in overtime by outscoring the Mountaineers 18-8 and claiming an 86-76 win.
The win elevates the Pack to 11-2 and 8-1 in RMAC play, its best RMAC start through nine games in school history.
After a ho-hum first half in which CSU-Pueblo only led for a grand total of five minutes and went into the break trailing 30-29, the ThunderWolves turned it on for the first part of the second half.
After a Western State jumper by Katie Hall put the Mountaineers up 32-29 to start the half, CSU-Pueblo went on a 16-6 run, seizing the lead after benefitting from buckets by six different players and going up 45-38.
Western State would get to within 45-43 before CSU-Pueblo turned it on again, scoring 20 of the next 28 points to go up 65-51 with 6:31 remaining.
That's when the bottom fell out.
The ThunderWolves went ice cold, not making a single field goal for the rest of regulation, going 0-for-4 while Western State used its rebounding prowess to give it repeated chances to come back.
The Mountaineers went 6-for-12 down the stretch, out-boarding the ThunderWolves 14-3. The comeback was complete when the RMAC's top free-throw shooter, CSU-Pueblo's Jennelle Branting (Sr., Littleton, Colo.) uncharacteristically missed three out of four three throw attempts inside of 30 seconds left, leading to a buzzer-beater three by Western State's Nikki Trujillo to force overtime, tied 68-68.
Dejected, the ThunderWolves overcame the complete loss of momentum by turning it on in the overtime period.
After sleepingwalking through the first 90 seconds of the overtime, missing its first three field goal attempts, a three-pointer by Erica Hicks (Jr., Lakewood, Colo.) awoke the sleeping giant inside the ThunderWolves.
CSU-Pueblo scored 10 of the next 12 points, benefitting from two three-point plays from Laurel Kearsley (Jr., Victor, Idaho), who finished with her third collegiate double-double in a 19-point, 14-rebound performance, to go up 82-72 and sink the Mountaineers.
CSU-Pueblo, now riding a seven-game win-streak, will face its toughest test of the season next weekend when it returns home to host Metro State, currently the second-ranked team in the country.