Sitting at sixth place in the Conference standings, Mines needed a win to stay in contention to make the eight team conference tourney field. Visiting New Mexico Highlands gave the Lady Orediggers a scare, but in the end Mines eeked out an eight point victory to sit at 14-12 overall and 11-9 in the conference.
Looking to avenge an earlier defeat at the hand of the Cowgirls, Mines did not get off to the best start. Down early 8-2, the Cowgirls looked to be in control. The Cowgirls held the lead for most of the first half leading by six multiple times. Mines led 22-19 with just under ten to play thanks to an Allie Grazulis jumper. The Orediggers and Cowgirls exchanged the lead four times in the remaining minutes of the first half and at the break, New Mexico Highlands led by the slimmest of margins, 35-34.
Down three points 10 seconds into the second half, Taylor Helbig nailed a three to tie the game at 37, and a Courtney Gallo three, just two minutes in gave Mines a three point lead. The Lady Orediggers never lost the lead, but could never quite pull away. NMH kept the game close forcing some costly turnovers and never found themselves down by more than 10 points.
A Grazulis layup with five to play would prove to be the last field goal the Orediggers would make in the game. With Mines up 66-60 with just under four to play, the Cowgirls used their full court press to full advantage in the closing minutes of the game forcing bad shots and a few turnovers. However, the Lady Orediggers made 12 of their 16 free throws in the final minutes to close out the game and come home victorious. The final score was Colorado School of Mines 78, New Mexico Highlands 70.
Mines recorded 16 turnovers but forced the Cowgirls into 17 of their own and held the Cowgirls to 34.2% shooting. The Cowgirls outrebounded the Lady Orediggers 47-45 but Mines shot 40.3% overall on 27-of-67 shooting and 18-26 from 69.2% from the free throw line including 12-of-16 down the stretch to secure the victory.
Taylor Helbig scored 25 points including 4-of-9 shooting from behind the arc and recorded five rebounds, two assists, and three steals to go along with her team high in points. Four of the five starters recorded double digit points and the fifth, Allie Grazulis scored 8 points to go along with her 15 boards. Tory Langas scored 14 and tallied eight rebounds and two blocks. Courtney Gallo led the team with three assists and scored 11 of her own and Angie Charchalis added 16 points in the win. The win kept Mines in the driver’s seat to make the RMAC shootout quarters.
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