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Slow Start Dooms Orediggers In Thanksgiving Classic Loss To Newman

DENVER – A sluggish start on the offensive end proved costly Saturday for the Colorado School of Mines women's basketball team as the Orediggers closed the Regis Thanksgiving Classic with a 66-54 setback to Newman at the Regis Fieldhouse in Denver.

After a quick start yesterday versus USA Today Sports/WBCA No. 8 Indianapolis, the women struggled from the field, missing their first nine chances and 19 of their first 23 as Newman went up 8-0 before extending the lead to 18-5 just less than midway through the first half.

Trailing 22-12 with 6:22 to play in the first, the Oredigger (3-3) offense finally got on track, scoring 13 of the next 17 points in a two and half minute span to close within 26-25. Senior Angie Charchalis ignited the rally with a high-arching three from the right wing and also sank a second triple from the left corner and two free throws to pull Mines within one.

Sophomore Sam Rusk added a jumper from the left elbow and classmate Taylor Helbig drilled her first trey during the run as the Orediggers connected on 4-of-5 field goals, including three from long range, and 5-of-6 free throws to head to the lockerroom down only 32-28.

Mines wasted little time knotting the score following intermission as back-to-back three-pointers from junior Courtney Gallo and Charchalis evened the game at 36-36 just over four minutes in.

The Jets countered with a 7-0 burst to move back ahead 45-38, but the Orediggers answered with a 9-2 run of their own to tie the game for the third time at 47-47 at the 9:43 mark as Charchalis was good with a baseline three, freshman Courtney Martin laid in a left-handed lay-up and sophomore Danielle Skinner drilled a fast-break jumper from the top of the paint.

Newman responded once again though, this time with what proved to be the deciding run of the afternoon, pushing the lead out to 57-49 over the ensuing 2:45, leading to a 19-7 margin over Mines the rest of the way and the wire-to-wire victory.

Charchalis paced CSM with a game-high 22 points, equaling her season-high with five triples, while junior Allie Grazulis finished with eight points and nine rebounds.

Kianna Flannagan collected 18 points, going 7-of-8 from the floor to lead the Jets (2-3), including 5-of-6 in the second as Newman hit on 48.1 percent (13-of-27) in the frame en route to 42.9 percent (25-of-56) for the game.

With the non-conference portion of the schedule complete, the Orediggers begin RMAC play on the road next weekend, beginning with a 6 p.m. tip at Western New Mexico on Friday, Nov. 30.

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