WBB: ThunderWolves fight off Nanooks in 91-87 OT thriller

WBB: ThunderWolves fight off Nanooks in 91-87 OT thriller

PUEBLO, Colo. (November 18, 2016)  It took five extra minutes, but Colorado State University-Pueblo women's basketball remained unbeaten, toppling  the University of Alaska Fairbanks, 91-87 in overtime to win their home opener in the 33rd Annual Al Kaly Shrine Classic at Massari Arena.

With the game tied at 87 and 11 seconds left in overtime, junior Katie Cunningham (Aurora, Colo.)  swished a pair of free throws to give the Pack a two-point lead. Molly Rohrer (So., Greenwood Village, Colo.)  ensured the win with two free throws with 2.4 seconds left in overtime. The Pack now stands 3-0 after their first overtime win of the season. CSU-Pueblo handed the Nanooks their first loss, sending Alaska Fairbanks to 2-1.

Cunningham delivered the Pack's first double-double of the season. Cunningham scored 12 points including five in overtime to lead the Pack to the victory. She also pulled down 10 rebounds. The Iowa Western CC transfer dished out five assists and recorded five steals. Cunningham made 5-of-6 from the free throw line and 3-of-6 from the field.

Tuileisu Anderson (Jr., Vancouver, Wash.) led CSU-Pueblo with 26 points. The 26 points set a new career-high for Anderson. She drained six of her 12 attempts from downtown. Anderson's six 3-pointers also marked a new career-best. She went 8-of-18 from the field and knocked down 4-of-5 from the free throw line (93.3 % for the season). Anderson added six rebounds.

Rohrer filled the stat sheet in a clutch performance. Rohrer scored 15 points, including 5-of-6  from the free throw line. The reigning Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week hit a pair of clutch free throws that sent the game to overtime. Rohrer now has made 11-of-12 (91.7%).  free throw attempts this season.

Defensively, Rohrer swatted four attempts. In addition to her four blocks, Rohrer set new career-highs with four assists and two steals. She grabbed seven rebounds.

Senior Jaszymn Johnson (Denver, Colo.)continued to spark the Pack off the bench. Johnson scored a season high 17 points. With the Pack down 84-83, Johnson drained a clutch 3-pointer to give CSU-Pueblo the lead. Johnson also knocked down 5-of-6 from the charity stripe and 5-of-11 from the field. She also came up with a career-high four assists. Johnson is averaging 15.33 points per game.

Angie Moore (Sr., Katy, Texas) scored eight points in 15 minutes off the bench. Moore put in 4-of her-6 shots from the field. She added five rebounds.

In the first quarter, the two teams traded the lead over the first five minutes. Down 8-7, the Pack went on an 8-0 run that put them up 15-8. They would carry a 21-18 lead in the second quarter. Anderson scored eight points in the first quarter.

Alaska Fairbanks cut CSU-Pueblo's lead to one at 27-26, The Pack responded with a 9-2 run that gave them an eight-point lead. Another 3-pointer from Anderson with four seconds left gave the Pack a 43-32 lead at halftime. Anderson scored 15 points in the first half. Johnson added nine in the first half.

Two 3-pointers from Anderson in the first 1:30 of the quarter gave the Pack a 14-point lead. Though the Nanooks would cut the lead to six, the Pack would push the lead back to 14 after freshman Khiya Adams (Falcon, Colo.) scored the first two points of her collegiate career with less than a minute to play in the third. The Nanooks ended the quarter on a 4-0 run to make it a 61-51 lead after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, the Pack held a 71-61 lead with 4:39 left in regulation. However, the Nanooks fought back with an 11-0 run over 1:34 to take the lead for the first time since the first quarter. They would build the lead to 76-73 with 1:36 left. Three Pack free throws including two from Rohrer would tie the game at 76 and force overtime.

Early in the extra period, the Pack fell behind by four points, 82-78. Five consecutive points from the Pack gave them a one-point lead. After the Nanooks retook the advantage, Johnson drained a huge 3-pointer to put the Pack up two. A Jaylee Mays 3-pointer for the Nanooks would eventually tie the game at 87with 11 seconds left. Mays finished with 24 points and six 3-pointers.

With the game tied, Cunningham went to the line and sank a pair of free throws to put the Pack up two. After a Fairbanks miss, Rohrer pulled down the rebound. Rohrer would get fouled and go to the line. She clinched the game for the Pack, by draining both of her free throws to seal a 91-87 win for the Pack.

CSU-Pueblo outrebounded the Nanooks 45-32. The ThunderWolves also shot 47.0 percent from the field, compared to 43.8 percent for the Nanooks. The 91 points for the Pack was their highest total since a 94 point outing in a win over Upper Iowa, Nov. 15, 2014.

To their credit, Alaska Fairbanks made all 15 of their free throw attempts. Jordan Wilson scored 30 points and made eight free throws.

Both the Pack and the Nanooks will compete in day two of the 33rd Annual Al Kaly Shrine classic. Alaska Fairbanks will play Western State Colorado University at 1 p.m. The Pack will play Tarleton State University at 3 p.m. at Massari Arena.

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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics