Defense down stretch keeps Mavs undefeated
Taylor Wagner doesn’t mean to be selfish, but ...
“Coach (assistant Michael Wells) and I were talking after, ‘We don’t do this, we don’t do that,’ yet we’re still 18-0,” the Colorado Mesa University women’s basketball coach said Friday after the fourth-ranked Mavericks remained undefeated with a 64-51 victory over Colorado School of Mines in Golden.
“We’re not satisfied, the girls aren’t satisfied, which is good. It’ll come. The big thing is that we just keep getting better each game.”
The 13-point win was much closer with 6:18 to play. A layup by the Orediggers’ Courtney Martin cut CMU’s lead to 56-50.
That, however, was the last field goal Mines (11-9, 8-6 RMAC) scored, and the Orediggers didn’t score again until Taylor Helbig made one free throw with 48 seconds to play.
The Mavericks (18-0, 14-0) scored six points after that free throw. Sharaya Selsor hit two free throws to all but clinch the victory, but with 30 seconds left, Christen Lopez came up with a steal. She was intentionally fouled to prevent a breakaway layup, and she made both free throws.
On the ensuing possession, Hanna Bowden hit a short jumper off an inbounds pass from Katrina Selsor.
Mines went through its scoring slump down the stretch, but the Mavs had theirs in the first half.
Colorado Mesa went nearly four minutes without scoring, but it never lost the lead during that cold spell.
When Sharaya Selsor hit a 3-pointer to end the scoring drought, it sparked a 14-8 run, with Sigl hitting a layup with two seconds left in the half for a 33-27 lead.
Sigl finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, despite playing with a touch of what Wagner thinks is food poisoning.
Katrina Selsor recorded her sixth double-double of the season and third straight, with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Lopez added 11 points, hitting three of five 3-pointers. Sharaya Selsor added nine points.
Mesa had 13 turnovers, nine in the ragged first half.
“We’re not hitting on all cylinders now,” Wagner said. “I just feel like we can do a better job. It’s a little selfish because we’re winning, but there are things we can do better.
“The girls know that, too. One day we’ll play good defense, the next day not. One day we shoot well, the next day we don’t. If we get that combination all together and have a complete game, it won’t come down to the last few minutes.”
A 3-pointer by Sigl capped a 9-2 run, with Lopez hitting a 3 and Bruna Deichmann driving for a layup, that pushed CMU’s second-half lead to 54-42 with 10 minutes to play.
The Orediggers stayed within striking range until those final six minutes, when they missed nine straight field-goal attempts.
Mines, one of the biggest teams in the RMAC, attacked the boards, grabbing 40 rebounds, 16 offensive, and scored 10 second-chance points, as did the Mavericks.
“Give Mines credit, they played hard,” Wagner said. “Offensively they crashed the boards, and we had no answer for them blocking out. They got so many extra opportunities. If we cut half of those offensive rebounds, it’s probably a 20-point victory.
“They’re a good team at home; they’re good all around. We’re getting everybody’s best, and we know that. We’re not going to beat everybody by 20 or 30 points. We know that.”