Job well done
Mesa women take care of business against Western
Sometimes it’s tough to concentrate when teams aren’t at the same level.
Saturday night that could have been the case when the No. 7 Colorado Mesa University women’s basketball team played Western State Colorado University.
The Mavericks entered the game undefeated. Western has won once this season.
“We wanted to keep them under 50 points and under 30 percent field goal, and I think we did that,” CMU coach Taylor Wagner said after the Mavericks kept the win streak going with a 70-45 victory at Brownson Arena.
“Toward the end it got a little difficult. They knew it was over, we knew it was over, and the crowd knew it was over. There wasn’t much energy, but we wanted them to keep working and try not to foul.”
After a bit of a slow start, the Mavericks (15-0, 11-0 RMAC) went on a run, outscoring Western (1-14, 1-10) 21-4 to break open an 8-8 game.
That scoring run featured a little bit of everything, with Bruna Deichmann coming off the bench and immediately attacking the basket, Christen Lopez hitting a 3-pointer and Hanna Bowden making a nice catch in traffic and scoring inside.
“That’s what Bruna does,” Wagner said. “She does a great job off the bench, instant offense, instant defense, instant energy. I really thought in the second half she did a great job trying to keep everybody going, getting rebounds, guarding and having a lot of energy.”
Kelsey Sigl, who along with Deichmann scored 14 points to lead the Mavericks, scored off a lob from Lopez, and Sharaya Selsor hit a layup off a steal.
A couple of baskets inside by Sigl and a trailing 3 off the break by Lopez and the Mavericks were up 29-12.
Wagner got the bench involved early.
“That’s something I’ve got to do a better job managing their time,” he said. “It’s still crucial, it’s still valuable time where they can learn, so if we get into situations like last week, they’re comfortable being out on the floor when it matters.”
Laurel Kasel gave the Mavericks some good minutes, allowing Sharaya Selsor, who scored 12 points, to play only 30 minutes — she played all 40 minutes in four of the past six games.
And until the final few minutes the Mavericks ignored the score, something that had hampered them earlier this season. They shot nearly 42 percent from the field and allowed the Mountaineers to shoot 29.8 percent.
They also shared the ball, with 17 assists on 23 baskets, and outrebounded a smaller Western team 44-27.
“I felt like we got out there and worked really hard, especially in the first half,” Wagner said. “I thought they did an exceptional job. We scored 39 in the first half, and that’s good, and defensively we held them to 20, and they hit some tough shots.”
The Mountaineers’ Desiree Smith hit a few running layups despite Sharaya Selsor’s defense, finishing with 15 points.
“There’s not much you can do about that,” Wagner said. “We played good defense and the shot goes in. We’ll live with those type of shots as long as they’re contested.”
Now the Mavericks can turn their attention to Metro State (11-5, 9-2), the preseason pick to win the RMAC, at Brownson on Friday night.
Right now, rankings don’t matter one whit to the Mavs, who are trying to win the program’s first RMAC title since 2002.
“The big thing is we want to get better,” Wagner said. “Move up or not, it’s fine, but we’re in the situation where the people ahead of us are probably pretty good, too. I’m fine just getting better each week.”