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SDSM Hardrocker Women's Basketball

SDSM Hardrocker Women's Basketball
CSUP Holds Off Determined Hardrockers In 1st Round Of RMAC WBB Tourney
SD School of Mines Athletic Release - February 28, 2018

PUEBLO, Colo. --- The South Dakota School of Mines women's basketball team went toe-to-toe with the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference regular season champions CSU-Pueblo Tuesday night during the RMAC Shootout quarterfinals post-season tournament, but the Lady ThunderWolves hits some big shots down the stretch and added some clutch free throws to eliminate the Lady Hardrockers from the tournament, 60-50, in Pueblo, Colo.

The Hardrockers played very well throughout the game, holding the lead in each of the four quarters of play. The score was tied five times and the game saw 10 different lead changes.

CSU-Pueblo took an early 11-point advantage and jumped out to a 20-13 lead after the first quarter, but the Hardrockers erased that deficit in the second quarter, starting out the period on a 9-0 run and outscored the home team, 12-5, to knot the game at 25-25 going into halftime.

SD Mines sophomore Sami Steffeck was a big key during that stretch, hitting three big shots from behind the arc and scored 13 markers in the half.

The third quarter proved to be a slugfest with SD Mines coming away with 15 points, while the ThunderWolves tallied 16 markers. Heading into the final frame, the 'Rockers trailed by just one point, 41-40.

In the fourth quarter things remained very competitive. CSUP led by one point, 49-48, with just onver five minutes remaining in the game when CSU-Pueblo's Tuileisu Anderson hit back-to-back three-pointers in about a minute's time to widen her team's lead to seven points, 55-48.

The Hardrockers had a couple of opportunities to cut into the lead over the next three minutes, but couldn't convert on offense. The scoring drought was broken with 44 second left in the game on a layup from junior Taylor Molstad to make the score, 55-50, but that was as close as the visitors would get.

CSU-Pueblo hit 5-6 from the free throw line to put the game away.

One of the biggest factors in the game was CSU-Pueblo's ability to get offensive rebounds. The Pack snagged 14 second-chance opportunities that they converted into 16 points throughout the game. Despite that, the Hardrockers were still able to execute their game plan and held tough through a majority of the game.

"We couldn't have asked more from the ladies, we battled and played our hearts out. Credit to CSU Pueblo for playing that much better than us. Their size hurt on the glass and Anderson made huge shots," said Hardrocker women's basketball head coach Ryan Larsen. "Defensively we played exceptional but Pueblo took advantage of the few mistakes we made. Offensively we were equally as good. we missed some really good looks at the basket, if they go in we could have made it really interesting."

SD Mines finished the game shooting 33.9 percent, making good on 19-56 attempts, including a 9-24 performance from the three-point line. The 'Rockers converted 3-4 on free throws, came down with 35 rebounds, recorded 14 assists, six steals and one blocked shot.

CSU-Pueblo made good on 21-62 attempts to also shoot 33.9 from the field. They knocked down 7-28 from behind the arc and converted 11-12 from the free throw line. The Pack snagged 45 total rebounds, had 11 assists, six steals and five blocked shots.

Steffeck finished the game as the leading scorer for the 'Rockers with 13 points. Molstad and sophomore Cooper Courtney had nine points each and sophomore Anna Haugen and freshman Ryan Weiss both contributed with six markers. Haugen also led the team with 15 rebounds.

CSUP was paced by Anderson who finished with 24 points, followed by Katie Cunningham with 11 and Molly Rohrer had 10.

The loss concludes the Lady Hardrockers' season with a 16-13 overall record as the Hardrockers will say goodbye to seniors Sarah Rawlings, Krista Showalter and Payton Humpal.

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