Chadron too much for Mesa
For the second night in a row, the Colorado Mesa University men’s basketball team unraveled in the second half on the road.
Chadron State shot 60 percent from the floor in the second half and defeated the Mavericks 80-67 on Saturday night in Chadron, Neb. The Eagles shot 52 percent for the game.
“We turned it over too much and gave them a lot of easy baskets in transition,” CMU associate head coach Andy Shantz said.
Mesa (11-10, 9-8 RMAC) turned the ball over 16 times, leading to 17 Chadron points.
Colton Burgon led the Mavericks with 23 points. Mike Melillo had 11 and Jeff Hart 10.
“It’s tough without Mike (Bear),” Shantz said. “He brings something we don’t have a lot on offense. He can get a shot pretty much anywhere. We executed well, but had a hard time finishing.”
Kevin McClelland led the Eagles with 18 points. Moala Tautuaa scored 14 and Sammy Hines had 10.
Mesa had 28 personal fouls, leading to 37 free throws for the Eagles, but they only made 23 (62 percent).
The Mavericks went on a 10-4 run to open the second half and tie the game 41-41, but Chadron responded with a layup and a dunk to spark a 9-2 run and led the rest of the way.
Mesa got within a basket twice, including with 6:05 left, but couldn’t take the lead.
Colorado Mesa rallied to earn a split of a doubleheader against Grand Canyon (Ariz.) University in Phoenix.
The Mavericks (2-1) defeated Grand Canyon 4-2 in nine innings in the second game. The Antelopes (1-2) won the first game 4-2.
“Both teams have good pitching,” CMU coach Chris Hanks said. “It’s been hard to produce runs.”
Mesa scored two runs on one error in the top of the seventh inning of the second game to tie the game 2-2 and force extra innings.
Mesa junior Tim Fowler doubled down the right-field line with two outs and the bases loaded to score two runs in the ninth.
Senior reliever Tim Moore pitched the final 3 2/3 innings for the victory. He allowed no runs on four hits.
Grand Canyon’s P.J. Garcia hit two home runs in the Antelopes’ 4-2 victory in the first game.
The second baseman hit a two-run shot in the first inning for a 2-1 lead and went deep again for a 3-2 lead in the third.
The Antelopes added a run in the sixth on a Kyle Peterson RBI double.
Mesa left-hander Jared Christensen gave up the two home runs to Garcia and took the loss. Christensen allowed three earned runs on six hits, three walks and struck out three in five innings.