PUEBLO, Colo. (March 3, 2018) – A 16-0 run over the last 3:25 of the game lifted Colorado State University-Pueblo Women's Basketball to an 84-69 victory over Black Hills State University and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament Championship.
For the Pack, this is their sixth RMAC Tournament Championship, the most of any school in conference history. They are also the first team since 2013-14 to win both the RMAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships in the same season. The Pack has won the RMAC Tournament in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, and now 2018.
Katie Cunningham (Sr., Aurora, Colo.) missed a triple-double by an assist. She scored 26 points on 8-of-11 shooting (72.7 percent) from the field. Cunningham also dished out a career-high nine assists and pulled in 14 rebounds. She had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the second half. The RMAC Defensive Player of the Year mad 9-of-12 at the charity stripe.
Molly Rohrer (Jr., Greenwood Village, Colo.) collected 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Rohrer had three blocks, all of which came in the second half. The center had six rebounds and three assists. She was voted All-RMAC Tournament Team for the second time in her career.
Lauren Heyn (Jr., Penryn, Calif.) was named All-RMAC Tournament Team for the first time in her career. Heyn had eight points after going 8-of-8 at the free throw line. Heyn secured seven rebounds and a block.
Taylor Long (Sr., Moreno Valley, Calif.) tacked on 12 points. Long went 2-of-5 from downtown and swished 4-of-4 at the line. Long's 87.5 percent free throw percentage would set a school record.
Khiya Adams (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) came off the bench with eight points. Adams went 4-of-4 from the field in the first half to spark the Pack. Her eight points marked a career high.
Black Hills State came out on fire, using a 12-2 run to take a 14-6 lead into the first media timeout. After the timeout, the Pack unleashed a 16-2 run of its own to take a 22-16 lead after one. CSU-Pueblo forced seven Yellow Jacket turnovers in the first.
Rohrer recorded 11 points in the first quarter alone. Cunningham netted seven in the opening stanza. Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field in the first.
The Pack kept the Yellow Jackets at least two possessions away for most of the second quarter. They led 46-42 at the half. Black Hills State shot 65.8 percent in the second. The Pack countered by going 13-of-14 at the free throw line.
In the third quarter, the two teams remained close. The Pack led by as many as seven, but Black Hills State cut the gap to two, making it 61-59, after three.
A Rohrer layup, helped CSU-Pueblo reopen its lead to seven with 6:52 left in regulation. The Yellow Jackets answered with an 8-0 run to jump in front 69-68 with 3:25 left on the clock. It was their first lead in almost 30 minutes of game time. They would not score again.
A Jennah Knafelc (Jr., Highlands Ranch, Colo.) 3-pointer ensured Black Hills' lead was short lived. Knafelc's 3-pointer started the 16-0 run the Pack went on to close out the win and clinch their sixth RMAC Tournament Championship.
CSU-Pueblo outscored the Yellow Jackets 23-10 in the fourth quarter. The Pack now stands 25-6 on the year, while Yellow Jackets fell to 24-7.
With their RMAC Championship sweep, the Pack will make their fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. They will find out Sunday at 8 p.m. where the will be seeded and where they will play in next week's NCAA South Central Regional.
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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