March 3, 2015
UCCS has the RMAC player of the year, but tonight they may not have needed her.
The number two seed Mountain Lions (23-5, 18-4 RMAC) defeated seven seed Regis (16-10, 12-10 RMAC) 90-72 in the first round of the RMAC Shootout tonight in Gallogly Events Center. The Mountain Lions will face Colorado Christian in the semifinals March 6.
UCCS jumped out to an early lead, with a 9-0 run to start the game. They continued the hot shooting throughout the first half, going 9-14 from the three-point line.
“I thought we were really hitting on all cylinders,” said head coach Shawn Nelson. “The players are starting to play like they are capable of.”
“We had a lot of momentum,” said guard Abby Kirchoff. “And we really wanted to get them back.”
The two teams traded away wins in the season series, with Regis defeating UCCS on Dec. 13 and UCCS defeating Regis on Feb. 27.
RMAC player of the year Kirchoff made her presence felt with 19 points. Forward Sam Patterson, 17 points, and guard Gabby Ramirez, 14 points, rounded out the top three scorers for the Mountain Lions. Guard Bay’lee Purdy led Regis with 25 points.
Kirchoff said the team used the same game plan from the 14-point win against Regis on Feb. 27. But both her and Nelson credited the support from the student section.
“We really fed off the crowd, and I think it just kind of snowballed on [Regis] a bit,” said Nelson. “The student section was full at 5:30, that says a lot about the support. The crowd was such a factor.”
The Mountain Lions led 58-36 at halftime. UCCS moves on to the semifinal round of the RMAC Shootout this year after losing at home to Colorado Mesa in the quarterfinals in 2014.