PUEBLO, Colo. (March 2, 2018) – With 2.1 seconds to go in a tie game, Molly Rohrer of the Colorado State University-Pueblo Women's Basketball knocked down two free throws to send the No. 1 seeded Pack to a 60-58 win over No. 5 seed Regis University in front of a loud crowd at Massari Arena.
The Pack (24-6) advances to play Black Hills State University in the RMAC Tournament Championship Saturday at 7 p.m. Regis fell to 16-13 and was eliminated from the RMAC Tournament.
Rohrer's free throws capped an incredible fourth quarter for the Pack. They made 63.6 percent (7-of-11) from the field in the last 10 minutes. CSU-Pueblo was also a perfect 4-for-4 at the line in the fourth quarter.
Katie Cunningham (Aurora, Colo.) led the Pack with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Eight of Cunningham's points came in the fourth quarter to lead the Pack to victory. The RMAC Defensive Player of the Year hauled in seven rebounds and went 4-for-4 at the line. Cunningham dished out three assists.
Lauren Heyn (Jr., Penryn, Calif.) scored 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 at the line. Heyn hyped the crowd with three blocks. She added six rebounds and two assists.
Taylor Long (Sr., Moreno Valley, Calif.) fired in 12 points and made three 3-pointers. Long had six rebounds and two steals. She went 3-of-4 at the line. Her 86.7 free throw percentage this season ranks second among qualified shooters in school history.
Senior Tuileisu Anderson (Vancouver, Wash.) tacked on 11 points. Anderson had five rebounds.
Rohrer (Jr., Greenwood Village, Colo.) finished with just six points as the Rangers held the RMAC Player of the Year in check until the closing seconds. Rohrer still found a way to make an impact with seven rebounds and a block.
Regis used a 10-2 run to take a 19-10 lead. The Pack got a buzzer beater from Jennah Knafelc (Jr., Highlands Ranch, Colo.) to make it 19-12 after one. Knafelc finished with seven points.
In the second quarter, the Pack used a 9-0 blitz to claw back within one at 23-22. Regis would not relinquish the lead as they used a 6-1 run to jump back in front. They led 31-27 at the break.
The Pack finally tied the game at 34-34 midway through the third quarter on an Anderson 3-pointer. They would take the lead with 4:06 left in the quarter, when Long knocked down a 3-pointer to put the Pack up 37-36. It would be their first lead since they held a 4-3 advantage with 6:15 left in the first quarter. Regis used a buzzer beating 3-pointer of their own to reclaim the lead 42-41 after three.
A see saw struggle started the fourth quarter until the Rangers engineered a 9-2 run to go up 55-50. They led by six, 58-52, with 3:12 remaining.
CSU-Pueblo chipped away at the lead. Cunningham hit a lay up and a pair of free throws to bring within two. An Anderson lay up tied the game with 1:10 to play.
The Rangers missed a 3-pointer to take the lead, but got an offensive rebound. They tried a layup, but could not get it to fall, giving the Pack the ball with 3.6 seconds left on the clock.
Curtis Loyd called a timeout to advance the ball. The Pack inbounded the ball to Rohrer who was fouled on a shot attempt. The 83.1 percent free throw shooter swished them both. The Rangers had one last attempt at a 3-pointer, but Anderson defended the shot forcing a miss to close out a 60-58 win in an instant classic.
The win gives the ThunderWolves a measure of revenge against the Rangers who eliminated them from last year's semifinal. The Pack outrebounded the Rangers, who entered the night as the RMAC's top rebounding team 34-33.
Tickets for tomorrow's RMAC Tournament Championship game go on sale at 5 p.m. at the Massari Arena Box Office. Tickets cost $10 for general admission and $5 for youth, seniors, students, and military personnel.
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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