Doug Schakel didn’t perform magic in his debut as Colorado-Colorado Springs men’s basketball coach Friday, but he hopes to foster progress in the Mountain Lions’ remaining 11 games. UCCS lost 73-60 to Western State in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference game at the Lions’ Den. Schakel is the interim coach after the firing of Lance Hammond, who had a two-year record of 2-38. “I feel like Dorothy inside the tornado in the Land of Oz,” Schakel said. “We’re trying to get a lot done. I was pleased with the progress this week.” Schakel has had four days of practice with the Mountain Lions (2-14, 1-7 RMAC), who have lost 10 of 11. In the first half of the doubleheader, the UCCS women won 66-59 for their fourth win in five games. Jennine Sauter had 28 points and 11 rebounds. UCCS finished with a 29-11 spurt after they trailed by 11 with 11 minutes left. The UCCS men jumped to a 6-0 lead but trailed 42-29 at halftime and didn’t find a way to stop Western State (6-9, 2-6). Western State made 16 of 40 shots from 3-point range while UCCS was 0 for 7. The 63-year-old Schakel has more than 500 wins as a college and high school coach, including 304 victories in 18 seasons at Mesa State (1978-96). He was a 2004 inductee into the RMAC Hall of Fame. Schakel was retired and working on his golf game at a golf academy in Grand Junction when UCCS athletic director Stephen Kirkham called. Schakel agreed to coach the Mountain Lions the rest of the season. “I was actually contemplating a return to coaching,” said Schakel, who didn’t rule out coaching the Mountain Lions next season. “I’m going to help the kids be as good as they can be and focus on us getting better. I want the kids to have a positive experience.” Schakel faces his old program tonight when UCCS hosts Mesa State for a pair of games beginning at 6 p.m. Patrick Hannaway had 28 points for UCCS and Bly McGuire 17. Carleton Goggins led Western State with 20 and made 6 of 9 3-pointers. The UCCS women (6-8, 4-4) trailed 32-28 at halftime despite shooting 28 percent and being outrebounded 29-15. “We played sloppy but at halftime Jennine (Sauter) told us we weren’t going to leave the gym as losers,” Stephanie Sauter said of her older sister. The score was tied at 56 with 2:35 left when Stephanie Sauter — who had 12 of her 15 points in the second half — drained back-to-back 3-pointers in 25 seconds. “We were missing easy shots early but our girls stayed calm,” UCCS coach Jessika Stratton said. “We made big shots late. They were sagging on Julie (Richards) and covering Jen on the high post, even when she stepped out, so that left Stephanie open.” Maribeth Martinez had six assists and six steals for UCCS. Western State (4-11, 2-6) was led by Audra Lawson with 16 points, but she was held scoreless in the second half. “We went to a sagging defense and concentrated on her,” Stratton said. “Jennine guarded her. Julie didn’t shoot well but boxed out and got some big rebounds late. “This was a good win for us. The girls never quit and played well at the end.”
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