ThunderWolves clobber Cowgirls 73-48, behind dominating defense

ThunderWolves clobber Cowgirls 73-48, behind dominating defense

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (December 6, 2016)  On the same day they moved into the top 10 in the WBCA poll, the No. 9 ranked Colorado State University-Pueblo Women's Basketball team proved why they are a  top 10 team with a 73-48 blowout win over New Mexico Highlands University.

The Pack led by as many as 44 points on their way to a 9-0 record overall. CSU-Pueblo now stands 3-0 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play. Highlands dropped to 2-4 (1-2 RMAC).

Defense shined for the Pack through the first three quarters. CSU-Pueblo limited the Cowgirls to 18.8 percent from the field, while shooting 47.6 percent themselves. The ThunderWolves made 8-of their-18 3-pointers while holding Highlands scoreless from downtown through the first three quarters, before subbing out all of their starters.

CSU-Pueblo also forced 19 turnovers even though just one starter played more than 20 minutes. The Pack had the only two blocks of the game, both coming from Lauren Heyn (So., Loomis, Calif.). CSU-Pueblo made 80 percent (16-of-20) of its tries from the free throw line.

Tuileisu Anderson (Jr., Vancouver, Wash.) took over the game in the first half. Anderson scored a game-high 18 points in just 18 minutes worth of playing time due to the lopsided nature of the score. She drained 6-of her-10 tries from the field, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Anderson picked up a pair of steals as well.

Heyn totaled 13 points in just 16 minutes. She made 4-of-6 from the field. The sophomore also sank all four of her free throws. Heyn pulled down five rebounds (three offensive) and matched a career-high with her two blocks.

Senior Jaszymn Johnson (Denver, Colo.) provided 12 points for the Pack in the win. She made 4-of-10 from the field, including a pair of triples. Johnson also delivered two assists.

Katie Cunningham (Jr., Aurora, Colo.) collected a season-high four steals. She added four assists and six rebounds. Taylor Long (Jr., Moreno Valley, Calif.) dished out three assists.

With the Pack off to a slow start leading 5-4, Jim Turgeon took a timeout. Coming out of the timeout the Pack responded with an 18-0  run that buried the Cowgirls as Highlands went over 6:30 without a point. Though NMHU would score the last bucket of the first quarter, the Pack led 23-6 after one. Anderson scored eight points in the first quarter as the Pack outshot Highlands 57.1 percent to 18.2 percent in the first. This included a 55.5 percent to 0.0 percent advantage from downtown.

The domination continued in the second quarter. Up 28-10, the Pack unleashed an 11-1 run that put them up by 28. Anderson scored eight points during this  five-minute run as the Pack carried a 40-15 lead into the break. CSU-Pueblo's defense held Highlands to 14.3 percent (3-of-21) from the field in the first half. The Cowgirls missed all 11 of their 3- pointers in the opening 20 minutes.

Coming out of the break, the Pack extend its lead with an 11-2 run to start the quarter. The Pack continued to build its lead as went into the fourth quarter ahead by 42 points, 64-22. The Cowgirls shot 18.8 percent through the first three quarters. The Pack held Highlands without a 3-pointer for the first three quarters as well.

After building their lead to 44 early in the fourth, the Pack pulled their starters for good. NMHU finally sank its first 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter. Facing the ThunderWolves bench in the final frame, the Cowgirls would end up trimming the Pack's lead. Despite five Cowgirl 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, the Pack still left Las Vegas with a 25-point win, 73-48.

After a 3-0 road trip to start RMAC play, the Pack will finally return home to Massari Arena Saturday night when they meet Westminster College. CSU-Pueblo's first home RMAC game begins at 5:30 p.m.

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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