Kimbrow helping Mavs learn to win

Photo by William Woody—Mesa State forward Jenn Kimbrow may be shorter than most posts in the RMAC, but uses her speed to an advantage.

Most post players have a signature move, whether it’s a pump-fake into the lane and a spin toward the baseline, a baby hook, a fade-away jumper or a power drop-step into the paint.

Jenn Kimbrow’s signature move is all one motion. She’ll pin her defender on the block, call for the ball, and in one move will catch the ball and roll toward the basket for a soft layin.

“It’s something I’m used to,” the 6-foot junior post player for the Mesa State College women’s basketball team said Thursday.

“I’ve done it for many years now and it’s working here now. You have to be quicker because I’m one of the smaller posts. I’m huge on this team (the only 6-footer) but in the conference everybody else is taller, so I’ll be quicker.”

Her signature move is NOT the stumble-across-the-lane-start-to-fall-down-and-oh-what-the-heck-I’ll-toss-it-up-and-see-what-happens move she pulled last weekend against Western New Mexico.

“It was lucky,” she said, laughing. “I stumbled, but you realize you’re going down and in that game every bucket counted. You’ve got to get the shot up even if you’re falling.”

The ball kissed off the glass and fell through the net in the Mavericks’ 81-68 victory, one of five wins in their past seven games.

Things have actually started to tilt the Mavericks’ way in 2010 and it’s no coincidence they started to turn when Kimbrow moved into the starting lineup nine games ago.

“After break it’s been ‘Oh yeah, I see that.’ We can win and every game we’re putting ourselves in a position to win,” Kimbrow said. “Now we just have to hold onto it and carry it through until the buzzer.”

As a starter, she’s scoring about eight points a game, twice as many as when she was in a reserve role.

With Courtney McCaig moving from post to forward, it’s given the Mavericks more options in the offense — McCaig had a career-high 28 points Tuesday night at Northern New Mexico and had 16 against Western New Mexico. Mesa’s point totals have shot up, scoring 81, 79 and 94 points the past three games.

Mesa State (7-11, 4-7 RMAC) faces its toughest weekend of the season when sixth-ranked Fort Lewis (20-2, 10-1 RMAC), the No. 1 team in the Central Region, comes into Brownson Arena at 6 tonight.

Saturday, Adams State (15-3, 9-2), the No. 3 team in the region, plays the Mavs at 5 p.m. at Brownson.

The Mavericks are coming off their first bonafide winning streak of the season and have already surpassed last season’s win total (6-21).

Kimbrow transferred from Lane (Ore.) Community College, where she helped the Titans go 27-5 and win the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges tournament championship last season and was the tournament’s MVP, so she’s used to winning.

“I won a championship last year and I was able to come to a program that was building,” she said of choosing Mesa State.

“I got what I wanted, now I want to be part of a program that’s working toward something else, and that’s bringing Mesa to where they could be like Fort Lewis in a few years.”

The Mavericks are starting to taste some success, and they’re learning from watching the 13th-ranked men’s team.

“The guys win by 20 and they get on the bus with us and you can feel their vibe and their energy,” Kimbrow said. “We want that, we want that for ourselves.

“Every dive on the floor, every rebound we get is one step closer to being like our guys. They’re amazing. I want that bad.”


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