Mesa women hang on to beat UCCS
Through 13 games, the Colorado Mesa University women’s basketball team made offensive plays down the stretch to pull away.
Saturday night in Colorado Springs, the Mavericks hung on for dear life, but made two key defensive plays in the final seconds to hold off the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs 56-55 to win their 14th straight game.
“Everything that could have gone bad tonight went bad in the second half,” CMU coach Taylor Wagner said. “We missed a layup at the end that could have given us more cushion. That’s uncharacteristic of this team.”
The Mavericks (14-0, 10-0 RMAC), who shoot 44.7 percent as a team, shot 26 percent (14 of 53) against the Mountain Lions, their worst shooting night of the season, and again were in foul trouble, losing a 12-point first-half lead.
CU-Colorado Springs (9-4, 6-3) pulled within one, 56-55, with 58 seconds to play on a jumper by Abby Kirchoff.
Sharaya Selsor, who scored 15 points for the Mavericks, missed a layup on the other end with 39 seconds to play, but Bruna Deichmann grabbed the offensive rebound. She was fouled by Lauren Wolfinger but missed both free throws.
Kellie Krueger rebounded the second miss for the Mountain Lions, and Jeri Pikul missed a 3-pointer on the other end that would have given UCCS its first lead. She got her own rebound, but it was stolen away by Sharaya Selsor, who was fouled with 8.7 seconds to play.
Selsor made four free throws down the stretch Friday to clinch CMU’s win over CSU-Pueblo, but this time, she missed both.
The Mountain Lions hustled the ball down the floor, and Jessika Kienitz put the ball up with two seconds left, but it was blocked by Deichmann, who latched onto the ball at the buzzer.
For the second straight night, Kelsey Sigl and Katrina Selsor, the Mavs’ leading scorers, were in foul trouble early, and both missed several minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls.
Sigl fouled out with 2:50 to play after scoring 13 points, playing only 25 minutes. Less than 30 seconds later, her backup, Hanna Bowden, picked up her fifth foul, and the Mavs went with five perimeter players the rest of the way.
Katrina Selsor scored 11 points and had four assists, and Deichmann had her second straight double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
With less than two minutes to play, Katrina Selsor missed a jumper in the lane, but Deichmann grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled. She hit one of two free throws, and Wolfinger, who scored 15 for UCCS, hit a 3-pointer on the other end.
It, however, was waved off. The officials ruled Deichmann fouled Kirchoff before the shot. She made one free throw, and instead of the Mavericks’ lead being cut to one on the 3-pointer, it was three, 56-53, with 1:30 remaining.
Coupled with Colorado Mines’ 57-56 win over Metro State, the Mavs are up two games in the loss column on CSU-Pueblo, Colorado Mines and Metro State, all of whom are 7-2 in conference play.
“We can’t put the dagger in anybody right now. At the beginning of the year that’s what we were doing,” Wagner said. “We’d have a nice, big run in each half, and that was enough. Now we’re getting one, and not even that. Any points we get we have to work for.
“We’re getting everybody’s best. We’ve talked about that. You’re gonna get their best, and you can’t play the same way.”
Still, the Mavericks remained undefeated and picked up road wins against teams in the top half of the conference they won’t play again in the regular season.
“We need to get better, but again, we’re still winning games, and bottom line, that’s the most important thing,” Wagner said.
“I’ll take an ugly win any time. Bottom line, we’re 14-0, and if someone told me we’d be 14-0 right now, I’d have taken it in a heartbeat. We won’t give back any of the wins.”