Courtesy of GothunderWolves.com
The old adage is that it is difficult to beat a team three times in the same season. That is something the Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolf women’s basketball team found out the hard way on Friday night as they were stung by the Black Hills State University Yellowjackets, 63-53 in the semifinal round of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Shootout here on the campus of Colorado Mesa University.
The Pack, which had claimed two regular season wins over the Yellowjackets, fell to 22-8 with the loss and will await a hopeful bid into the NCAA Division II Tournament for the sixth time in program history. That announcement will be made on the NCAA Tournament Selection show, which will be streamed live on http://www.ncaa.com/live/player?vid=2014/1345&date=2014/03/09, Sunday evening at 8 p.m. Mountain Time.
Meanwhile, BHSU improved to 15-13 overall and will advance to the tournament’s championship game against the winner of host and top-seed Colorado Mesa and fourth-seeded Regis, which is being played later Friday evening.
The winner of the championship game receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament while the Pack, who entered the weekend a strong fourth in the South Central Regional Rankings, will be hoping for one of the five at-large spots to be given from the region, made up of the RMAC, Lone Star and Heartland Conferences.
On Friday, the ThunderWolves were guilty of 11 turnovers and were held to 31.1 percent (19-61) shooting from the field.
Meanwhile, the Yellowjackets shot 49.0 percent (24-49) from the field and made twice as many 3-pointers (8-4) than the ThunderWolves, the tournament’s second seed. First Team All-RMAC selection Chelsey Biegler led the way for the sixth-seeded Yellowjackets with a game-high 17 points as she went 3-for-5 from beyond the arc and 6-for-11 from the field overall.
Alex Evans, Jenay Locke and Paige Ramm scored 10 points a piece for the Pack. Ramm also had a team-high nine rebounds while Calli Bechtel grabbed a game-best 11 for Black Hills State.
CSU-Pueblo led 14-7 8 ½ minutes in before a 9-2 Yellowjacket run tied the game. Locke then hit one of the ThunderWolves’ four 3-pointers on 20 attempts (20.0 percent) to temporally give the lead back to the Pack. However, another 7-0 run put the Yellowjackets up 23-19.
Trailing 30-26 at the half, the ThunderWolves would come back to tie the game at 39.
Gabby Haefs then answered with a trey for Black Hills as the Jackets hit three 3-pointers in an 11-2 run that helped put the game away.