After putting a halt to a four game skid in exciting fashion on Friday night at UCCS, the CSM women’s basketball squad traveled up to CSU-Pueblo on Saturday evening in search of their second consecutive victory. Behind a solid night from beyond the three point arc, the Lady Orediggers were able to upend the RMAC’s number two team on the road, 55-47.
Both the Orediggers and the Thunderwolves struggled early in this contest. After a quick 3-3 start neither team was able to put any points on the board for almost five minutes. But each team was able to recover from their scoring droughts, albeit at different times, leading to a game full of runs. Mines started things off with a 13-4 run to take a 16-7 lead, but CSU-Pueblo quickly went on a 7-0 run of their own to cut that lead to 16-14. CSM would then take a 23-17 lead into halftime after ending on a 7-3 streak.
The Thunderwolves came out strong in the second half, going on a 18-6 run to grab a sizeable 35-29 lead. Down but not out, the Orediggers were able to fight back with yet another scoring streak of their own to tie the game at 38. In the next four minutes, the lead changed hands three times until with only 1:50 left, Mines held a slim 46-43 advantage. After a minute filled with missed shots and timeouts from both teams, the Orediggers’ lead was still only three points, and the game still seemed up in the air. But with 41 seconds left in the game, Taylor Helbig hit a clutch three point jump shot to push the lead to six. Fourteen seconds later, Helbig sealed the win for Mines by hitting two late free throws, extending the Oredigger lead to eight and all but preventing CSU-Pueblo from being able to mount a comeback. Though down, the Thunderwolves never showed signs of quitting, scoring two layups with less than 15 seconds on the clock and playing to the very last moment. But the lead built up by the Orediggers earlier would prove to be enough, as they held on for the 55-47 victory.
Coming off of the bench, Helbig had a fantastic night, leading all scorers with 17 points (including 7 in the last 45 seconds of the game). Tory Langas also put up double figures with 13 points, as well as registering five rebounds and two assists. Despite being edged by the Thunderwolves in overall shooting percentage, the difference in this game came down to Mines owning the decisive advantages in three-point shooting (50% vs. 11.1%) and free throw shooting (91.7% vs. 50%).
After winning consecutive games for the first time all season long, the Lady Orediggers will look to extend their season long winning streak to three games next Friday night against Adams State. Taking place during Alumni Weekend here in Golden, that game tips off at 6pm in Lockridge Arena.