ThunderWolves' "D" takes over, turns in win over Adams

PUEBLO, Colo. - It really was quite impressive that the ThunderWolves held the lead after the first half of their game with Adams State Tuesday.

The Pack led 31-28 despite shooting just .324, compared to Adams' .455. It was all due to the defense, which forced 12 turnovers in the half while coughing up the ball just four times.

Once the Pack's offense caught up, the game was all Pack, ending in a 71-52 ThunderWolf triumph.

The Pack started off the half with outscoring the Grizzlies 35-11, shooting 45 percent from the field while the defense kept up its pressure. By the end, the Pack had registered 10 steals while only giving up six turnovers, the lowest team total since 2005-06.

"I think we did a good job taking away their strengths," Pack coach Kip Drown said. "We forced them outside and made a lot of plays on the transition."

A lot of the Grizzlies' strengths were neutralized by the play of Sarah Staggs and Lindsay Black. Staggs lit it up in the second half after a cold first half, scoring nine points, taking down four boards and snagging two blocks. She ended up with a team-leading 16 points on the game.

Black turned in a 12-point effort, scoring three blocks and four boards. The Pack's two big ladies were chiefly responsible for forcing the Grizzlies outside most of the game. It was Black's eight straight game scoring 10 points or more.

"Lindsay has had a different mindset ever since we came back from Christmas break," Drown said. "She has really elevated the play of the rest of the team, and we're hoping to ride it as long as we can."

The win give the Pack it's fifth straight win as the ThunderWolves continue to ascend up the RMAC Western Division standings. The Pack only trails first place Fort Lewis, which holds a ranking of 15 in the NCAA Division II poll. The Skyhawks are 16-1.

The ThunderWolves return back to the hardcourt Thursday against Western State.