Muth helps lead Steamboat over Glenwood

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— At times, it seemed too easy for Natalie Muth.

Muth, who plays point guard for the Steamboat Sailors, scored 20 points and added seven rebounds against the Glenwood Springs Demons to lead her team to a 50-46 victory Saturday night.

The Sailors, who improved to 7-4 overall, were frustrated by a full-court press that forced them into making 35 turnovers. But they made 22 field goals and shut down the Demons' leading scorer Katie Richelieu to come away with their third league victory of the year.

Muth shot 9-17 from the floor and made four steals to help avenge a one-point loss to Glenwood earlier this season.

Brienna Combs, who is the Sailors' leading scorer, played with an injured shoulder. She finished with three points but handed out six assists and blocked two shots before fouling out near the end of the game. Combs also managed four steals.

The Sailors were in control the entire contest but were caught off-guard by a late fourth-quarter run that brought the game to within one point with 45 seconds remaining.

They were on top 37-25 at the end of third period but were outscored 21-13 in the final quarter.

Glenwood's Heather Hert, who finished with four points, made two free throws that closed the score to 47-46.

Bayli Stillwell then made a bucket off an offensive rebound to put Steamboat back up by three points.

Richelieu had a chance to tie the game moments later but missed a 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds remaining. Emily Hines, who finished the game with seven points, sealed the win for the Sailors with a free throw.

Steamboat shifted to three different defenses during the game but profited mostly from their box-and-chase defense that matched either Hines on Natalie Lancaster or Jannike Combs on Richelieu.

Lancaster scored eight points on 2-9 shooting and Richelieu was held to seven points on 3-15 shooting.

As a team, Glenwood shot 17-54 from the field.

The Demons kept themselves in the game by hitting free throws, however, finishing on 12 of 16 from the line.

For the Sailors, Stillwell ended with eight points on 4-8 shooting and added eight rebounds. Jannike Combs had eight points and 14 rebounds.

Angie Grass led the Demons with 11 points.

"This was one of our better games," Steamboat coach Bruce Alston said. "Win or lose, our goal is to get better every week and every game.

"We just have to do a little bit better job of closing out."

Muth said the Sailors continue to get better each game.

"We know we're a better team than the first time we played (Glenwood)," Muth said. "We improved so much from the first tournament.

"We've been going uphill all season and this just adds to it."

Steamboat next plays at Delta at 6 p.m. Friday. It marks the Sailors' fifth consecutive road game.

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