Last night was a historic one for the men's and women's basketball programs at NCAA Division-II Colorado Christian University. Seeded number one in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference East Division, CCU's varsity women took on fourth-seeded University of Nebraska-Kearney, beating the visitors 65-59 in their first-ever home game in postseason quarterfinals play.
Later in the evening, in nearby Golden, the fourth-seeded CCU men upset number-one Colorado School of Mines in a back-and-forth scramble that ended in overtime. Benefitting from consistent outside shooting and dominance in the paint, CCU was up by two in the final minutes of regulation time, when Mines tied the score and forced an extra period that ended in a 79-73 CCU win.
Not long into the women's game, senior forward Abby Rosenthal became the first Cougar athlete, male or female, to record 1,000-plus career rebounds, tallying 16 that evening. Colorado State University transfer Juanise Cornell led the scoreboard with 17 points and 7 rebounds, while junior guard Jodie Krall tacked on 13 points, 5 assists, and 4 steals, including a grab that set up a fast-break layup and a momentum shift in favor of CCU.
With the wins, both teams advanced to the semifinal round of the 2010 RMAC Shootout -- the conference's final-four tournament -- doing so together for the first time in CCU history. This will be the third appearance in a row for the men's team, who advanced to the championship game in 2008.
"I am overwhelmingly proud of our men, and so pleased with the way they have represented the Lord, CCU, and themselves," stated men's head coach David Daniels. "This team has battled through adversity and faced extreme highs and lows to get to where they are."
"We're just excited to be where we are -- all that we have accomplished this year can be attributed to the unbelievable character and heart of our girls," added Tim Hays, head coach of the women's team. "They have faced adversity in different ways all year, and have continued to find ways to get the job done."
CCU men's semifinal vs. New Mexico Highlands University, March 5, 2010, 5:30 p.m.
CCU women's semifinal vs. Colorado State University-Pueblo, March 5, 2010, 7:30 p.m.
Possible finals, March 6, 2010, men at 5:00 p.m., women at 7:30 p.m.
All games take place at the Colorado State Fair Events Center, Pueblo, Colo.