Sharaya Selsor scores final 9 points in key win for Mesa
Colorado Mesa University’s women’s basketball team passed its first real test of the season Friday night, holding off CSU-Pueblo 70-66 in Pueblo to remain undefeated.
“That was a very good test,” CMU coach Taylor Wagner said, admitting it was a little closer than he would have liked.
“Only playing (CSU-Pueblo) once, that was a huge win.”
Sharaya Selsor made four straight free throws in the final 26 seconds to allow the eighth-ranked Mavericks (13-0, 9-0 RMAC) to extend their school-record winning streak.
Mesa had a nine-point lead, 61-52, with 6:26 to play after Katrina Selsor made a driving layup, but CSU-Pueblo’s Erica Hicks hit a 3 on the other end. Bruna Deichmann, who recorded her first double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds, missed a layup but grabbed her own rebound. She passed the ball out to Kelsey Sigl, who drove the baseline.
Sigl, who had 21 points to lead the Mavs, was called for an offensive foul, her fifth, leaving with the Mavs up six, 61-55, with 5:35 to play.
After the ThunderWolves (9-3, 6-2) scored, Sharaya Selsor, who scored 20 points, took a pass from her sister, Katrina, and buried a 3-pointer.
Jenay Locke made it a one-point game, 64-63, when she scored in the paint for the T-Wolves with 1:29 to play, but again, Sharaya Selsor answered. Taking another pass from her sister, who played at CSU-Pueblo as a freshman before transferring to Mesa, Sharaya Selsor hit a layup with 1:14 to play.
Katrina Selsor finished with nine points, five rebounds and four assists.
Laurel Kearsley, who scored 21 points for CSU-Pueblo, missed the back end of a two-shot foul with 1:02 remaining, but the rebound came off to Taylor Fox, who got the ball to Tiana Gill. Her missed 3-pointer with 45 seconds to play was crucial for the Mavs after Deichmann gathered up her 13th rebound.
“She was big when we needed an energy boost,” Wagner said. “Our posts had a tough assignment (with Kearsley), but their other girls are more perimeter players. They were out there covering all over, and it was nice that Bruna could clean up on the boards.”
Pueblo led early, but the Mavericks went on a 10-0 run over a 3½-minute span and led 36-31 at halftime.
“We finally got that lead toward the end of the first half, and that was huge for us,” said Wagner, who had several friends from nearby La Junta attend the game — he coached at Otero Junior College before being hired at CMU last summer.
“We went into halftime with a little momentum and with some confidence. We were talking at halftime about finishing the game the right way.”
Kearsley, a 6-foot center, not only led the T-Wolves in scoring, she had eight rebounds and blocked four shots.
“She’s a very tough matchup. She has a high release, and she can shoot it over you, go by you, and defensively she had a good game,” Wagner said. “She changed the game for us inside early. One thing we focused on was if she gets her average and we keep everybody else in check, we had a shot to win the game.”
With Sigl and Katrina Selsor in foul trouble, the offense bogged down in the second half at times. Colorado Mesa shot 42 percent in the first half but only 34 percent in the second.
However, after getting to the free-throw line only four times in the first half, the Mavs went 9 of 11 in the second, including the four crucial ones at the end by Sharaya Selsor, who played all 40 minutes.
When the offense did get stagnant, Wagner said, the Mavericks kept playing good defense to hold the T-Wolves at bay.
“It was a fun game to get out of there with a conference road win,” Wagner said.