Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Trying for back-to-back wins against nationally ranked Fort Lewis College, UC-Colorado Springs lost its seven-point first half lead then the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Shootout semifinal to No. 15 FLC on Friday night at the Colorado State Fair Events Center in Pueblo.
FLC, the 2-seed at the RMAC Shootout, rallied in the second half for a 68-65 victory to reach the conference tournament championship game. Waiting will be Western State, not the No. 2-ranked team in the country.
Western State upset 1-seed Metro State earlier Friday.
FLC and Western State will play for the conference title at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Jamie Simmons led the Skyhawks with 14 points in Friday night’s semifinal, while Erika Richards and Dana Schreibvogel scored 10 points each.
Abby Kirchoff scored a game-high 20 points for the Mountain Lions, while Ashley Miller had 15 and Jessica Brown 13.
Mavericks 65, Skyhawks 62
PUEBLO – A late 3-point strike by Mike Melillo broke a 62-all tie and gave the Colorado Mesa Mavericks a 65-62 victory in a RMAC Shootout semifinal Friday night at Colorado State Fair Events Center in Pueblo.
Colorado Mesa, the No. 7 seed in the Shootout, will play No. 1 seed and the No. 2 ranked team in the country – Colorado School of Mines – for the conference championship at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Matt Billups led three Skyhawks in double digits with 20 points in the loss. Matt Morris had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Mike Matthews had 16 points.
Colton Burgon and Nate Nelson scored 14 points each to lead the Mavericks, and Michael Bear had 10 points in the win.
Colorado Mines 82, Nebraska-Kearney 62
The No. 2 team in the nation got a scare early on, but a late run propelled Colorado School of Mines past Nebraska-Kearney 82-62 on Friday in a RMAC Shootout men’s semifinal Friday at the Colorado State Fair Events Center.
The two teams were tied at 43 a little more than five minutes into the second half, but the top-seeded Orediggers outscored No. 4 seed UNK 39-19 the rest of the way to advance to Saturday’s final.
Luke Meisch came off the bench to lead the Orediggers with 18 points, and Dale Minschwaner added 16.
Ethan Brozek had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Lopers, and Tyler Shields had 14 and Max Froelich 12.
Western State 70, Metro State 66
PUEBLO – The Western State women’s basketball team is one win from the NCAA Tournament.
Needing to secure the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s automatic bid to qualify, the Mountaineers got one step closer to doing just that by edging top seed and No. 7-ranked Metro State 70-66 on Friday at the RMAC Shootout semifinals at the Colorado State Fair Events Center.
The Roadrunners (25-3) cut a lead that had been eight with 1:27 left down to 68-66 when Jenessa Burke hit a 3 with 23 seconds left. Western State (16-14), the No. 4 seed, split a pair of free throws, leaving the door open, but Burke’s 3-point attempt was blocked, and Taylor Murray sealed the deal for the Mountaineers with a free throw with 3.1 seconds left.
Nikki Trujillo led Western State with 22 points, and Brooke Pendergraft and Katie Hall chipped in 14 points and six rebounds apiece. Burke’s 13 led the Roadrunners, who likely lost any hope of hosting the NCAA Central Region Tournament with the loss.
Western State will play No. 15 and second-seeded Fort Lewis College at 5:30 p.m. today for the conference tournament championship.