Following three consecutive last-second losses, it was the CSC women’s turn to celebrate late-game heroics as the Eagles rallied to defeat Colorado School of Mines 76-73 Saturday, at the Chicoine Center.
CSC freshman Jori Peters, of Mitchell, put her team on her back, scoring 21 points, all in the second half, including a trio of free throws to put the Eagles up 76-73 with just seconds remaining.
“I started off not shooting at all in the first half,” Peters, whose career high was nine points prior to Saturday. “I wasn’t really thinking about it, but when the opportunity came I just shot my shot and they went in.”
Peters said the Mines defense was coming off of ball screens on the low side and providing scoring opportunities for her, opportunities she made the most of.
“We ran a play (that featured Peters) early in the second half,” CSC Head Coach Janet Raymer said to CSC Sports Information following the game. It worked so we kept running it.”
Prior to the win the CSC women had lost three consecutive home games by just two or fewer points, including a 66-64 loss to University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, Friday. Following a 68-67 defeat at the hands of CSU-Pueblo a week prior, several Eagles’ women’s players were visibly upset leaving the court and on their way to the locker room. Saturday night, the scene could not have contrasted more.
Breathing heavily following the post-game celebration, Peters said, “We really really needed it. It’s been so tough losing by less than two points the last three games. We never stop fighting so this just makes us have more fire.”
“It’s amazing. It feels really good,” Raymer offered outside the locker room door. “I’m happy for our kids because they’ve been working so hard for it.”
“We were tired of being scared at the end and tired of trying not to lose,” Raymer said about her team finishing a close game as the victor. “We decided we were just going to go out and get it, and that gave us a different mentality.”
Peters was one of five Eagle players to score in double-figures in the win, including Angelique Gall, freshman of Fruita, Colorado and Taryn Foxen, sophomore of Aurora, who each had 14 points. Teammates Jessica Harvey, sophomore of Morrill, and Rebecca Stevenson, senior of Lacey, Washington, rounded out the team’s leading scorers with 10 points each. As a team, the group shot 48.2 percent.
“To score that many buckets in a game is big for us,” Raymer said. “It’s above our average. We had a lot of contributors in a lot of different ways. By focusing on our defense our offense came in different ways and I’m proud of them for that.”
Asked if Saturday’s win will provide some spark for her team, Raymer confidently replied, “It’s going to have to propel us through the week until we get another one Friday.”
As mentioned, Friday saw the Eagles lose to UCCS just 66-64. CSC’s Harvey put the Eagles ahead 64-63 with 22 seconds remaining in the game, but the Mountain Lions’ Chelsea Pearson hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left, and Jessica Lovitt couldn’t hit a last second jump shot to tie the game.
Harvey led the team with 27 points Friday, hitting five-of-five 3-pointers and a perfect four-of-four from the free throw line.
This weekend the Eagles leave the comforts of home for two South Dakota games, first with Black Hills State in Spearfish, Friday, then with South Dakota Mines, in Rapid City.