DENVER, Colo. (November 12, 2016) – Sophomores Olivia Robertson (20 points) and Bobbi Chitsey (17 points) each had career high performances, but it was not enough for No.4/11 Lubbock Christian University, as Colorado State – Pueblo overcame an eight-point fourth quarter deficit hitting five three-pointers in the quarter to rally for a 65-61 win in a neutral site contest part of the Holiday Inn Cherry Creek Classic hosted by Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Trailing 48-40 through three quarters, CSU-Pueblo, who had been 4-of-17 (23.5%) from three-point range, opened the fourth quarter with a three-point field goal by Jaszymn Johnson. Taylor Long hit the first of two three-pointers in the quarter with 7:38 to go to cut the Thunderwolves deficit to 50-48 with 7:38 remaining, but the Lady Chaps responded, and a field goal by Robertson put LCU up 54-48 with 5:32 left. Over the ensuing 91 seconds, the game changed as Long, Katie Cunningham (her only three-pointer of the game) and Johnson combined to go 3-for-3 from long distance and the game was tied 57-57 with 3:06 left. CSU-P scored their final eight points from the free-throw line, as they were a perfect 8-for-8 from the line in the quarter. LCU was whistled for nine fouls in the fourth quarter, including a fifth foul called on Chitsey with 6:41 left, taking away a hot hand in the game from LCU. In the final 3:06, LCU was 2-of-7 from the field. They missed four consecutive field goal attempts as the score was tied 57-57 and as they trailed 57-59. The T-wolves made six field goals in the quarter and five were three-pointers.
CSU-P only led a span of 6:27 in the game. LCU had the lead for nearly three quarters of the game (29 minutes). LCU opened the game on a 7-0 run and was not phased after CSU-P answered with a 5-0 run, as the Lady Chaps used a three-pointer from Bailey Haist to regain the lead to a seven-point margin (16-9) to end the first quarter. Allison Szabo connected on a three-pointer with 6:53 left in the first half to build the lead to 21-11 before CSU-P went on an 8-0 run. They closed the half on a 7-2 run and Molly Rohrer layup with 11 seconds left in the half gave the Thunderwolves their first lead (29-28), which took the game into the halftime.
A pair of Thunderwolves three-pointers in the opening three minutes of the third quarter built their lead to 37-32, and LCU answered with some valuable minutes from Chitsey. LCU went on a 16-0 run over the next five minutes, with Chitsey hitting a pair of three-points and scoring eight of the 16 points. LCU led 48-37 at the run’s conclusion and 37 seconds remained in the third quarter.
Robertson, whose prior career high was eight points, had a game-high 20 points on an 8-for-14 shooting performance. Chitsey scored her 17 points in just 13 minutes of play. She was 6-of-9 from the field. Haist finished with 11 points for LCU. CSU-P had four players in double figures, with Johnson leading the team with 15 points. Rohrer (14 points), Long (10 points) and Tuileisu (10 points) joined Johnson.
CSU-P outrebounded LCU 45-24 and produced 21 offensive rebounds. The 21 offensive rebounds was the most allowed since UA-Fort Smith had 26 on Feb. 12, 2015. The Thunderwolves did not necessarily take advantage of the offensive boards, it just hampered LCU’s possessions/possession time. The Thunderwolves did not have a second chance scoring point until bringing down their 12th offensive rebound. CSU-P had 21 offensive rebounds compared to LCU’s eight, yet LCU out-scored CSU-P 13-7 in second chance scoring.
The T-wolves closed the game 9-of-25 (36%) from long distance. They went 5-of-8 in the fourth quarter in the category. They were 88.9% from the line (16/18). LCU had an 18-9 advantage in forced turnovers, but only had a 15-13 scoring advantage in points off turnovers.
LCU falls to 0-2 on the season with the los, which is a first under Steve Gomez (in his 14th season) serving as the Lady Chaps head coach. Lubbock Christian has not started a season 0-2 since the 2001-2002 season. CSU-P, the preseason favorites of the RMAC, improved to 2-0 with the win.
Chitsey and Robertson were proving to be a solid one-two punch for the Lady Chaps in the second half. They combined for 24 of LCU’s 33 points in the second half, and that is with Chitsey limited to nine minutes in the second half. Chitsey fouling out disrupted the Lady Chaps scoring rhythm. She had all five of her fouls called against her in a span of 7:15, with three called against her in a 56-second span late in the third quarter.
STAT OF THE GAME
Haist and Chitsey each went 3-of-4 from long distance and combined to go 6-of-8 (75%) from three-point range. The rest of the team combined to go 1-for-15 (6.7%). Chitsey, who had three “threes” her freshman season, opened this season successful in her first four three-point attempts.
LCU heads home and prepares to host the Arbor Inn & Suites Classic, which begins Friday evening hosting Colorado School of Mines with a 6 p.m. tip.