Bear has big night in Mesa’s big win
After sharing the ball a little too much early Saturday, the Mesa State College men’s basketball team got things figured out in the second half and easily defeated Southwestern (Texas) Assemblies of God 82-56 in the Colorado School of Mines Classic in Golden.
“We were trying to do a little too much with the basketball, being a little too unselfish,” Mesa State associate head coach Andy Shantz said. “We were overpassing and trying to squeeze passes in where they couldn’t fit. We were a little sloppy, not too bad, though.”
Michael Bear, a 6-foot-7 sophomore post, came off the bench and scored a career-high 19 points and had seven rebounds. Senior guard Jase Herl added 18 points and nine rebounds, Mike Dominguez 17 points and Sean Flohr 12 points.
“Mike played great,” Shantz said of Bear. “He gave us a huge lift off the bench. He can do that. He has a lot of physical skills and tools you can’t teach. He can jump and he’s long and athletic. He can make plays other kids can’t.”
The Mavericks (2-0) led 37-31 at halftime, but got untracked and eased to the victory.
“We started hitting some shots and got out in transition in the second half,” Shantz said. “We really guarded well both nights. The kids take pride in that and it makes a big difference if we can do that.”
Mesa State has its home debut at 7 p.m. on Friday in the annual Thanksgiving Tip-off, facing Central Methodist (Mo.) University at Brownson Arena. Saturday, the Mavericks play RMAC rival Metro State at 7 p.m. CSU-Pueblo is the fourth team in the field.
Nine turnovers in the final seven minutes cost Mesa State the lead, and eventually the game, 64-55 to Western Oregon University.
The Mavericks (0-2) led 33-29 at the half and built a 10-point lead early in the second half but they kept giving the ball back to the Wolves down the stretch. Mesa State turned the ball over 23 times, leading to 19 Western Oregon points, 17 coming in the second half.
Although the Mavericks were outrebounded by only six, Western Oregon scored seven second-chance points to none for Mesa. What really hurt, though, were the dozen 3-pointers the Wolves made in 30 attempts.
Sophomore Jennifer Landers led Mesa State with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Meagan Selvidge scored 14 points. The Mavericks’ lack of depth hurt — with Hannah Walsh and Heather Habekost out with illness and injury, Mesa State had only eight players available and got only six points off the bench.
The Mavericks have this week off, but play their first home game under new coach Roger Walters on Nov. 30, facing Northern New Mexico at 5 p.m.