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Pack women’s basketball ends historic season with first round Division II tournament exit

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The CSU-Pueblo women's basketball team had a historic season. | Photo by Jason Prescott
The CSU-Pueblo women’s basketball team had a historic season. | Photo by Jason Prescott

Following a record breaking season in which the women’s basketball team accumulated 26 wins and just six losses, the team was bounced from the first round of the NCAA Division II tournament on March 10, after a 78-60 loss against Black Hills State University in Lubbock, Texas.

Twenty-one turnovers in the game for CSU-Pueblo led to 23 points for Black Hills State, helping the tournament’s No. 7 seed to upset the No. 2 seeded ThunderWolves.

However, perhaps the largest difference in the game between the two teams was points contributed by the bench, where Black Hills State had 26 points from their bench, compared to just eight for CSU-Pueblo.

The Pack shot just 38.5 percent from the field, hitting only 20 of their 52 shot attempts, including just 8-for-25 from beyond the arch. This poor shooting was too much to overcome for the Pack, who never held a lead in the contest.

Freshman center Molly Rohrer led the Pack in both points and rebounds, totaling 18 and eight, while going 7-for-14 from the field. Her game leading performance was unfortunately not enough for the Pack, as Black Hills State’s dominant first half performance led to an 18-point lead going into the break and could not be overcome.

Black Hills State got to the free throw line early and often against the Pack, going 26-for-37 from the line to account for one-third of their overall points. The Yellow Jackets were led by guard Taylor Trohkimoinen, who nearly doubled her season average of nine points per game by scoring 18, including two-of-three on three-point attempts.

Despite the early exit from the tournament, the season was one of the best in program history for the Pack. The team set program records for wins, with 26, and winning percentage, with .812. Freshman forward Lauren Heyn also set a program record for field goal percentage in a season, sinking 55.6 percent of her shots from the field throughout the year.

The Pack won their fifth Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament Championship in school history on March 5, tying a record for the conference, and clinched its highest ever seed in the NCAA tournament at No. 2.

The Pack will have much to look forward to next season, as it will return three of its five starters in Rohrer, Heyn and forward Tuileisu Anderson.

The ThunderWolves will surely miss its senior leaders, however, as guard Dee Arrietta, who finished as the programs third most successful 3-point shooter with 157 3-pointers, as well as guard/forward Ashley Piper who started 30-of-32 games for the Pack this year, played in their last games for the Pack.

 

Photos by Jason Prescott