By Spencer Allenback
The Thunderwolves men and women’s basketball teams played host to New Mexico Highlands Friday night. The ladies started the night off with a loss to the Cowgirls 60-52, the men evened the score with an 87-82 win.
The women turned the ball over 27 times during the game, and only shot 28 percent from the field. Junior guard Kendall Babler led the Pack with 18 points, while senior forward Amanda Bartlett did not shoot well in the game going 1-14 from the field, while grabbing 14 rebounds.
Senior guard Rachel Espinoza had 11 points and 10 rebounds, but also led the team in turnovers with nine.
The Cowgirls were led by their starting center, redshirt freshmen China Smith, who had 22 points and 12 rebounds. The Cowgirls jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Although the game stayed close, the Pack could not mount the full comeback.
The men got off to a slow start, but regained their composure to get the win. The Pack had trouble slowing down the RMAC player of the week, junior guard Thomas Manzano. Manzano had 31 points and six rebounds, but was not enough for the Cowboys. Junior guard Momcilo Latinovic scored 17 points, in his 25 minutes of play.
Senior forward Kris Lawrie led the Thunderwolves with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Lawrie had two spectacular dunks during the game, giving the team and fans something to cheer about.
“I just went up with the intention to finish,” Lawrie said “We were getting to the basket a lot during the game and I saw the opening so I went for it.”
Lawrie also did it on the defensive side with five blocks and two steals. “We played with a lot of aggression tonight, we really wanted to get this win,” Lawrie said.
Senior forward Daniel Pierce and sophomore guard Leon Flowers were also big contributors in the win. Pierce had 15 points nine rebounds, went for three-for-six beyond the arc. Flowers had 18 points, and went three-for-three from long distance.
Both teams will return to action Saturday night at Massari Arena when they play host to travel partner and rival UC-Colorado Springs. The Girls will start things off at 6 p.m., as they look to avenge a lost earlier in the season against the Mountain Lions. The Boys will tip off at 8 p.m. as they look for the season sweep of UCCS.