ThunderWolves escape Rangers in 52-51 war

ThunderWolves escape Rangers in 52-51 war

PUEBLO, Colo. (January 27, 2018)   With halftime dogs performing, Colorado State University-Pueblo Women's Basketball engaged in a dog-fight against Regis University.  In the end, the Pack escaped with a 52-51 win in front of  a season-high 1,651 fans at Massari Arena.

The game was tied heading into the final minute, but the Pack scored with 53 seconds left to go up 50-48.  The Rangers had three chances to tie the game or take the lead, but the Pack's defense held. A pair of free throws would put the game out of reach as the ThunderWolves clinched a 52-51 win.

Senior Tuileisu Anderson (Vancouver, Wash.) led the Pack with 16 points, including the go-ahead layup. With her 16-point effort , Anderson tied Annette Smith for fourth all-time at CSU-Pueblo with 1,367 career points. Anderson knocked down 2-of-5 from beyond the arc.

Katie Cunningham (Sr., Aurora, Colo.) scored seven points and hauled in 14 rebounds. Cunningham also collected three steals without committing a turnover. She dished out three assists in the win.

Molly Rohrer (Jr., Greenwood Village, Colo.) finished with 12 points. She swatted four Ranger shots. Lauren Heyn (Jr., Penryn, Calif.) rejected three shots as the Pack totaled nine blocks.

The Pack defense took over in the first quarter. They held the Rangers to just 16.7 percent from the field. CSU-Pueblo kept the Rangers scoreless for over seven minutes from 8:54-1:28 in the first quarter, allowing the Pack to build a 9-2 lead. They led 14-8 after one.

A 9-0 run from the final 20 seconds of the first to 6:06 in the second allowed the Rangers to jump in front 15-14.  The two teams engaged in a see-saw battle the rest of the quarter until the horn sounded with the scoreboard showing a 24-24 tie.

Coming out of the locker room, the Pack went on a 10-3 run to take a 34-27 lead. They used this run to carry a 45-38 run into the final quarter of play.

The Pack went cold in the fourth, making just 18.2 percent from the field. Regis took advantage and went on a 10-2 run that gave them a 48-47 lead, their first of the second half. Anderson ended a near-five minute scoring draught for the Pack with a free throw that tied the game at 48 with 2:28 remaining.

Deadlocked at 48 entering the final minute, Anderson scored with 53 seconds left. The Rangers missed two shots, but offensive rebounds kept giving them chances. After their third miss, the Pack got the rebound. Rohrer knocked down a pair of free throws to make it 52-48. Regis would hit a buzzer beater 3-pointer as time expired, but it would not be enough as the Pack won 52-51.

The Pack quieted the Rangers offense, holding them to just 28.8 percent from the field and 21.7 percent from downtown. Regis outrebounded the Pack 42-33, including 17-7 on the offensive glass.

CSU-Pueblo improved to 15-6 on the year. Their 13-2 record in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference games places them atop the RMAC standings.  The Rangers fall to 10-9 (9-5 RMAC).

The ThunderWolves will hit the road for three consecutive games. CSU-Pueblo's road trip starts Friday at Adams State. Tipoff between the Pack and Grizzlies is scheduled for 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.