Inserting Rohrbaugh into starting lineup pays off for Mavs

Colorado Mesa freshman Dallas Rohrbaugh, right, looks for an open player to pass the ball to as Adams State’s Keyondra White defends Saturday night during the first half of the Mavericks’ victory at Brownson Arena. Rohrbaugh made her first career start at the collegiate level.



Granted, Adams State is not the caliber of women’s basketball team that Fort Lewis puts on the court, but let’s take a quick look at a few numbers from the weekend for Colorado Mesa University.

Turnovers: 31 vs. Fort Lewis, 9 vs. Adams State.

Points off turnovers: 26 for Fort Lewis, 7 for Adams State.

Free throws: 7 of 16 vs. Fort Lewis, 19 of 26 vs. Adams State.

No wonder the Mavericks head into the nine-day Christmas break feeling better after Saturday night’s 69-53 RMAC victory over the Grizzlies.

“It’s not rocket science,” CMU coach Roger Walters said. “Sometimes we make things harder than it has to be for some reason.”

With Katrina Selsor back at her familiar spot on the wing and the Mavs going back to their traditional two-post, three-guard offense, Colorado Mesa (7-3, 5-1 RMAC) dominated, especially in the second half.

Dallas Rohrbaugh moved into the starting lineup at point guard, and the freshman from Erie handled it without a hiccup.

“It was pretty cool, pretty nice,” she said of hearing her name announced and running onto the floor with the other starters for the first time in college.

“I’ve gotta say those butterflies were fluttering, though,” said Rohrbaugh, who scored eight points, had two rebounds, two assists and two turnovers in 22 minutes.

Walters opted to bring Effo Baker off the bench to help her get a feel for the game and cut down on turnovers. She had two assists and no turnovers in 12 minutes.

“All we’re trying to do is contain this number,” he said, pointing to the turnover column in the boxscore. “We just can’t be sloppy with the basketball. I don’t care who plays or who doesn’t play, we’re gonna do whatever it takes.”

What it took was moving the ball on offense until they got a good shot, limiting Adams State to only one shot each possession (6 offensive rebounds to Mesa’s 16) and recognizing shooters early.

Jamonica Hudgins and Keyondra White hit some early shots from the perimeter when the Mavericks were trying to bottle up Chloe Cable.

It looked like the Mavs switched defenses, but that wasn’t the case. They just played their matchup zone a little bit better.

“We kind of doubled down a little bit and had some miscommunication, but after them nailing those first few 3s, we kind of figured out they have some shooters,” Selsor said.

Leading 29-23 at halftime behind Amy Weitzeil’s 12 points, the Mavericks spread the floor on offense in the second half and attacked the basket.

“I had a lot more energy tonight,” said Weitzeil, who helped pick up the scoring slack for Kelsey Sigl, out with a concussion. Weitzeil, more of a defensive stopper in the post, finished with 14 points, her most in a Maverick uniform.

“We definitely wanted to end on a good note with Christmas break coming up. We all played the way we’re supposed to play, the way we practice.”

Selsor started driving the lane as soon as the Mavs got the ball in the second half, and the Grizzlies had two choices — let her get to the basket or foul her.

They did a little bit of both. Selsor made all eight of her free throws in the second half and scored 14 second-half points.

“We spread the floor and ran five out and that’s usually when the guards get good looks,” she said. “That was definitely the answer to the game. We were looking to do that ... and making free throws and not turning the ball over.”

Redshirt freshman Leanndra Gilbert came off the bench and gave the Mavs a lift with nine points, including a nice double-move layin to beat the shot clock with 10 minutes to play for a 50-37 lead that pretty much sealed it for Mesa.

The long holiday break is coming at just the right time for the Mavericks.

Selsor is one of a handful of players who have been playing with pulled groin muscles the past month, and Sigl has missed three games with a concussion.

“She’s hurting, but you’d never know it by the way she plays,” Walters said of Selsor, who also turned an ankle early in the season.

“We can get her and Kelsey healed up a little bit. I think the break came at the right time.”

Swimming

Alejandro Hernandez placed third and Ryan Dake sixth in the 200-yard individual medley in the UNLV Winter Invitational. Hernandez finished in 1 minute, 53.63 seconds, Dake in 2:00.04. The men’s 400 medley relay team placed second (3:31.39), with the Mavericks’ B relay team fourth (3:35.97). Austin Detra was eighth in the 500 freestyle (4:48.76) and te men’s 200 free relay team was fifth (1:24.66).

On the women’s side, Kelly Hogan was 12th in the 500 freestyle (5:10.57).


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