Offensive woes hurt Mavericks in road loss

One stat tells you what happened Friday night to the Mesa State College men’s basketball team.

The Mavericks made 24 field goals.

They had eight assists.

The lack of offensive execution, coupled with sub-par defense and being outrebounded all added up to a 90-79 loss at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

Mesa State (6-8, 3-4 RMAC) allowed UCCS (6-10, 4-2 RMAC) to shoot 50.7 percent from the field, and once they fell behind by double digits, the Mavericks fell back into their habit of trying to score too quickly.

“We just get in such a hurry offensively,” Heaps said in his postgame radio comments to KMSA-FM. “When we try to score outside the offense, we’re not very good. We’ve got to score within the offense. We’ve got to be patient. We weren’t patient. We can’t give up 90 points and beat anybody.”

The Mountain Lions’ Nick Weaver, who leads the RMAC in scoring at 22.5 points a game, was just off his average by the end of the first half, scoring 22 of his game-high 31 points.

He had plenty of help, especially in the second half, with Frank McCollumn scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Jordan McClung added 10 points.

“They really want to play with pace and they bait you into taking jump shots,” Mesa State associate head coach Andy Shantz said after the game.

“We were shooting jump shots over the top early in the possession and I don’t think we’re a real good jump-shooting team. We kind of played into their style and then we settled down in the second half and played better, but by then we had dug a 15-point deficit and it was too much to crawl out of.”

Mesa State’s Ryan Mathews stretched his streak of double-figure games to 10 with 23 points, but had only eight at the half. Jase Herl scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half to help the Mavericks come back from a 15-point deficit, 48-33, and Jake Swartzendruber added 14.

The Mavericks cut the gap to 10 points with less than 15 minutes to play, but right after that,

UCCS went on an 8-2 run and got the lead back to 18 with 10:22 to play.

The Mavs were handled on the boards by the Mountain Lions, who had 11 more rebounds (43-32) than Mesa State and grabbed 18 offensive rebounds, scoring 19 points off those second chances. Mesa State had 14 points off offensive rebounds.

The Mavericks started attacking the basket better in the second half to chip away at what was an 18-point lead early in the second half and got to the free-throw line 37 times, hitting 27.

UCCS went 14 of 21 at the line, but hit 11 more field goals (35-24) than Mesa State, which plays its final nonconference game of the season tonight at Johnson & Wales in Denver.

“We’re giving up 50 percent from the floor, we settle for jump shots early in possessions, we never run the clock down,” Heaps said. “We’ve got to be a little more patient and get better shots. When we shoot 42 percent, we’re not getting good enough shots.”


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