Mesa men surge late to roll past Chadron
Basketball coaches are never really sure how their teams will play after a couple of weeks off for the holidays.
For the Mesa State College men’s basketball team, their level of play was no different.
The 24th-ranked Mavericks played tough defensively Friday night to roll to a 79-63 victory over Chadron State in Chadron, Neb.
“Our defensive intensity was good all night, especially after the long break,” Mesa State associate head coach Andy Shantz said. “You never know how that will be after a couple weeks off. We played hard and played well.
“Chadron was ready to play. They played with a high energy level. Fortunately, on the road, we met that.”
Mesa State (11-1, 5-0 RMAC) limited the Eagles (4-8, 2-3 RMAC) to 42 percent shooting from the floor, including 34.8 in the first half. The Mavericks used their solid defensive effort and a Mike Dominguez 3-pointer just before the end of the first half to build a 16-point halftime lead. Mesa pushed the lead to as much as 25 in the second half.
Dominguez led the Mavericks with a game-high 22 points, including 18 in the first half. Lance Fite and Brian Kenshalo had 12 each and Jase Herl added 10.
Mesa State plays Nebraska-Kearney (8-5, 3-2 RMAC) at 7 p.m. (MST) today in Kearney.
“It’s been a few years since we done that,” said Shantz of winning at Kearney. “They have a good team again. The excuses are out there. Hopefully, we can play hard and get a win.”
Chadron State snapped a six-game losing streak with a 60-55 victory over Mesa State.
The Eagles (2-10, 2-3 RMAC) pulled away in the game’s final minute. Kaitlin Petri made 6 of 6 free throws down the stretch.
Petri led all scorers with 29 points, grabbed seven rebounds, blocked three shots and had five assists.
Meagan Selvidge paced the Mavericks (2-8, 1-4 RMAC) with 11 points. Alaina Brennan added 10. Mesa’s leading scorer, Jennifer Landers, did not play.
Chadron led most of the first half and led by as much as nine points, but the teams exchanged leads six times in the second half. Neither team led bymore than five points.
“You can’t shoot 50 percent from the free-throw line and 50 percent on layups and expect to win games,” Mesa State coach Roger Walters said.
Mesa State made 6 of 12 foul shots and shot 40 percent from the floor. The Mavericks had 16 turnovers.