Tim Flynn, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Every Oredigger on the active roster saw action on Saturday afternoon as the Colorado School of Mines Women’s Basketball team cruised to a 66-52 win over South Dakota Mines inside the King Center.
Denali Pinto and Courtney Stanton led the scoring with 12 points apiece. Megan Van de Graaf added 11 points of her own for a trio of double-digit scorers. Liz Holter and Sammy Van Sickle stuffed nearly every column of the box score as the duo scored racked up nine points, seven rebounds and five assists each. Holter also notched five steals and Van Sickle tallied three blocks. Besides the scoring, every one of those statistics led all players on the court. In total, the Orediggers had nine individuals in the scoring column and nine more in the rebounding column.
As a team, Colorado School of Mines (6-2, 5-2 RMAC) notched three more rebounds, three more steals, three more blocks, two more assists and three fewer turnovers than South Dakota Mines (2-6, 2-5 RMAC). The sum total of those margins helped the Orediggers outscore the Hardrockers 22-10 in the paint, 10-4 off of turnovers and 6-0 on the fast break. Both teams were even at 9-9 on second-chance points, but the visitor’s defense held SDM under 30-percent shooting from the floor, while the Orediggers’ offense shot over 42 percent on the day. With the win, Colorado School of Mines sweeps the regular-season series against the Hardrockers after earning a double-digit win in December inside Lockridge arena.
Palpable anticipation poured through Oredigger fans and players alike as the Colorado School of Mines women took to the court for the first time in 12 days. Overcast skies and temperatures around 40 degrees painted the scene in Rapid City as Holter, Pinto, Ashley Steffeck, Stanton and Van Sickle stepped onto the floor inside the King Center. The reward would be a balanced attack using every active player on the roster on the way to an Oredigger victory.
Free throws were the early tool of choice for Colorado School of Mines. Van Sickle, Steffeck and Loralee Stock all stepped to the charity stripe inside the first three minutes and provided the visitors a 5-2 lead. In their first home game of the season, South Dakota Mines quickly responded with the long ball to claim a 7-5 advantage. It proved to be SDM’s only lead of the game as Stanton nailed a jump shot to tie the game and Stock drained a three-pointer, giving the Orediggers the lead for good at the 6:07 mark of the opening frame. From that point forward, the game was never tied and the visitors never trailed again.
The home team did pull within three points at the end of the first quarter and rallied within two points at the end of the third quarter. However, the Orediggers used two big runs at the start of the second and fourth to secure their victory. The first surge was a 10-2 outburst to begin the second period and featured three-pointers from Steffeck and Pinto. Holter sparked the second run with five straight points to start the final quarter. That production resulted in an 11-0 stretch which turned into 13-1 in favor of Colorado School of Mines.
By the final buzzer, the Orediggers had held the lead for a total of 37:43. On the flip side, SDM only led for 18 seconds in their home opener. Colorado School of Mines provided an exclamation point for its win by missing just three baskets over the final 10 minutes. At the same time, the visitor’s defense only allowed two buckets from the Hardrockers.
“This is always a tough road trip for us,” said Head Coach Brittany Simpson. “But I am very proud of the way the girls played today. Everyone contributed and gave our team good minutes.”
With the win, Colorado School of Mines improves to 2-0 against South Dakota Mines this season and takes a 7-6 lead in the all-time series.
The Orediggers return home to face UCCS on Monday at 12 p.m. inside Lockridge Arena.