FAIRBANKS, Alaska – For the second straight evening, the Colorado School of Mines women's basketball team hung a crooked number on the scoreboard as the Orediggers ran past Alaska Fairbanks 87-73 Saturday at the Patty Center in Fairbanks.
Backed by a career-night by junior Allie Grazulis, the women topped the 80-point plateau for the second time in as many days and just the fifth time since the 2010-11 campaign. In its season-opener Friday in Anchorage, Mines shot 49.2 percent from the field to upset USA TODAY Sports/ESPN Division II preseason No. 22 Alaska Anchorage, 80-74.
Grazulis eclipsed her previous career-high of 20 points from Friday with a new collegiate-best and game-high 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting at Fairbanks. The Palmer, Alaska native also led the Orediggers to a 58-to-38 advantage on the glass, collecting a career-best 20 rebounds, tied for fifth most in a game in school history.
Grazulis finished the road swing through her home state with 42 total points (21.0 ppg) on 18-of-27 (66.7 percent) shooting to go along with 29 combined rebounds (14.5 rpg).
Behind 16-of-38 (42.1 percent) shooting from the floor in the first half, Mines took a 37-31 lead into the break. The Orediggers opened the second with an 8-2 run to push the lead to 12, 45-33, at the 16:56 mark.
Despite only 12 field goals in the second, a 24-of-30 (80.0 percent) effort at the charity stripe in the half allowed Mines to extend the lead to 14 at 52-38 and later to a 17-point spread on three occasions down the stretch, before taking the 14-point victory.
Along with Grazulis, the Orediggers (2-0) had two other players reach double figures as junior Courtney Gallo was one off her career-high with 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting, while sophomore Danielle Skinner added 11 off the bench. Both players finished the night 7-of-8 on free throws.
Sophomore Sam Rusk also added seven points at the line, knocking down 7-of-10 as Mines finished the game 29-of-38 (76.3 percent). Despite hitting only 2-of-12 from behind the arc, the Orediggers ended the night 28-of-65 (43.1 percent), while limiting the Nanooks (0-1) to just 25-of-70 (35.7 percent) from the field.
Mines returns to the lower-48 for the two-day Comfort Inn Ashbrook Classic at Wichita Falls, Texas, beginning on Friday, Nov. 16 with a 6 p.m. (MDT) tip versus host Midwestern State at the D.L. Ligon Coliseum.