Dominguez’s buzzer beater lifts Mavericks in basketball
Michael Dominguez finally got an opportunity to play near his hometown and it was memorable.
The Mesa State College senior from Santa Fe, N.M., scored a game-high 37 points and hit a game-winning shot as time expired to lift the 17th-ranked Mavericks to an 81-79 victory over New Mexico Highlands in Las Vegas, N.M.
“It was one of those, where it’s his homecoming and it’s a tie game,” Mesa State coach Jim Heaps said. “It was a no-brainer to put it in his hands. He made a tough shot.
“It was his game to win or lose. He proved it all game long.”
Jase Herl had 14, Michael Bear added 11 off the bench and Sean Flohr hit a couple 3-pointers late in the game to finish with 8.
Dominguez’s game winning-shot capped a furious rally for the Mavericks, who had to fight back from a double-digit deficit more than once.
Mesa State (14-1, 8-0 RMAC) trailed by 10 points with about five minutes left the last time.
“We took a timeout around that 5 minute mark,” Heaps said. “I said something about there’s plenty of time, but we’ve got to get stops and rebound the basketball. I didn’t see any doubt in their eyes. You could tell they were focused and believed they had an opportunity to win the game. Highlands fell tired and tried to hang on as opposed to playing to win. We kept going.”
Highlands (9-7, 3-5 RMAC) came out strong and lured the Mavericks into a up-and-down fast-paced game. Mesa caught up, only to fall behind in double figures by halftime.
“They always come out intense and play hard,” Heaps said. “They executed well and hit a lot of tough shots. I told our guys, they can’t play any better. They think its over. Do you think it’s over? We’ve been in this situation before.”
Mesa shot 52.8 percent from the floor, but only 67 percent from the free throw line. The Mavericks were limited to eight assists and had 13 turnovers, but Heaps said that was a product more of the type of game played than mistakes on Mesa’s part.
“The way they guarded us, we had to drive and penetrate (the lane) instead.
Mesa State had to rally for a victory, but it didn’t need a last second shot.
The Mavericks (4-9, 3-5 RMAC) rebounded from an early deficit and held on to defeat New Mexico Highlands 65-62 for its first road win of the season.
“We were down early,” Walters said. “We called a couple timeouts and got the kids composed in the huddle then made a couple defensive stops.
“We showed a lot of maturity and hung tough. For what we are, we functioned at high level.”
Meagan Selvidge led Mesa State with 17 points. Hannah Breidel had 9 rebounds along with 13 points. Katie Cupp and Alaina Brennan scored 10 each.
Mesa State shot 48 percent from the floor and out-rebounded Highlands by 15.