Mavericks hope youngsters can stop slide
Let youth be served.
Mesa State College women’s basketball coach Timi Brown plans to give the younger players more playing time for the rest of the season beginning tonight against CSU-Pueblo. Tipoff is 6 p.m. at Brownson Arena.
“We’re going to give our younger players more time,” Brown said. “They’ve worked hard and their future is bright. We’ll mix them in the lineup. We’ll give them more opportunities. They’ll help us in the long run.”
That means freshmen like Central High School product Alaina Brennan and 6-foot-1 forward Ashley Davis will see more time for the Mavericks (3-12, 0-7 RMAC), who are looking to snap a 10-game losing streak.
“Ashley is very aggressive and will give us more height,” Brown said. “Alaina has a scoring mentality and can play the one or two (guard position). We’ll look at getting her experience at (point guard).”
A third freshman, Jennifer Landers, is already getting a lot of playing time. In fact, the 5-8 guard from Plainview, Texas, has started 14 games and leads the team in minutes played with 27.5 per game.
The freshmen are three of eight new players on the team this season. Of the six returning players, three are sophomores.
Those sophomores, Jocelyn Zarling, Hannah Breidel and Courtney McCaig, will get more playing time as well.
They won’t be taking Stephanie Delgado’s minutes, though.
The 5-11 senior is the only player to start every game for the Mavericks and is leading the team in scoring with 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds a game. She is shooting 55.8 percent from the floor, which is the sixth-best single-season mark in program history. Delgado is also second in all-time career shooting percentage in school history (54.2 percent).
“She’s been our most consistent player,” Brown said. “I’m proud of what she’s accomplished.
She is a great student and player. She’s been the rock of the team.”
Delgado and Mesa’s only other senior, Abby Hancock, made the RMAC All-Academic honor roll announced Wednesday. Delgado has a 3.25 grade-point average in psychology and Hancock has a 3.88 GPA in English education.
The youth movement doesn’t necessarily mean a change in philosophy, at least on defense.
“We still need to mix things up and try to keep teams off balance,” Brown said. “The coaches and kids are too smart to stay in one defense. We need to keep them in front of us.”
Heather Habekost will not play this weekend. The junior guard has a shoulder injury. She returned last weekend after missing seven games with a concussion.