Women’s basketball returns with new and familiar faces

The 2022-2023 season for UCCS women’s basketball has begun, bringing new and familiar faces to the court to help push for the postseason.

The Mountain Lions opened their season on Nov. 11 at home against the Cameron University Aggies in their out-of-conference debut. UCCS lost 67-59, with the team shooting just 44% on field goals.

The team followed the game with a Nov. 12 home loss against the Midwestern State University Mustangs, 80-72. The team shot 23-63 from the field and a below average 61% from the free throw line.

After the pair of opening matches, the team stands at 0-2 this season but have over 27 more games to play this season. Last season, the Mountain Lions finished the previous season with a losing record, 13-16, but had an even 11-11 conference record in the RMAC. The team fell short at home last season, 4-9, but performed better on the road with a 7-7 record. The Mountain Lions ended their season during the RMAC Tournament where the team lost 48-79 to Colorado Mesa and finished as the seventh ranked team.

Despite the losing record last season, the team protected the paint better than their opponents, averaging nearly a block more per game, 3.2 to 2.3.

Lynn Plett is returning as head coach for his seventh season with the Mountain Lions. Plett, a professional head coach for 25 seasons, coached the Mountain Lions during their first RMAC championship title in program history for the 2016-2017 season.

On the court, three Mountain Lions were named to the 2022-2023 RMAC players to watch list: senior guard Sophie Abela, redshirt sophomore guard Jessica Nation and sophomore guard Amyah Moore Allen.

Abela started 22 of her 26 games last season, leading all Mountain Lions. She also finished with a team-high 75 assists and an assist/turnover ratio of 1.22. She averaged 6.7 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. She shot 39.0% from the field and 57.4% from the free throw line. This is her second season at UCCS as she was previously at Otero Junior College.

Nation is in her third year with the Mountain Lions. Last season, she earned RMAC All-Academic Honor Roll as a redshirt freshman. Nation started in 12 of her 22 appearances and averaged 7.5 points per game and 3 rebounds per game. She also shot 37.4% from the field and 35.4% from the three-point range.

Finally, this is Moore Allen’s first season as a Mountain Lion. Last season she started 5-of-12 games at Trinity Valley Community College. She averaged an even 7 points per game, 4.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.8 steals and about a block per game. She hit 41.8% of her shots, shooting 28-of-67 from the field, and shot 44.4% from the three-point range on just nine attempts.

Returning Mountain Lions include sophomore forward Maison White, sophomore guard Gracie Haneborg, sophomore guard and forward Ines Latapia, sophomore forward Agar Farres, redshirt sophomore Emily Doolittle and sophomore guard Alexa Dominguez.

Redshirt freshman guard Breelyn Robinson was a Mountain Lion last season but didn’t compete. UCCS also has several freshmen entering the team this year including forwards Mariah Derksen and Gaia Zimbardo and guards Rylie Ottmann and Emily Hovasse.

The Mountain Lions played at home this week against the Alaska Fairbanks University on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the Gallogly Events Center.

Photo courtesy of gomountainlions.com.