Maverick women rally past NMHU
Sharaya Selsor’s right thumb was throbbing. Christen Lopez had been sick all day.
Driving halfway across New Mexico in the middle of the night wasn’t fun, nor was four more hours on the bus on game day.
Colorado Mesa women’s basketball coach Taylor Wagner told the Mavericks they couldn’t use any excuses to not play well.
The first half was a struggle Saturday night for the fifth-ranked Colorado Mesa women’s basketball team, but about five minutes into the second half, the Mavericks caught their second wind.
After trailing New Mexico Highlands by five points, the Mavericks went on a 13-3 run in a four-minute span to sweep the road trip, 81-70.
“The first half we couldn’t guard anybody,” Wagner said. “We were a step slow, and we’re giving them layups right underneath the basket. That’s horrible to see those kids make those shots; it takes something out of you. It’s like a dunk in the guy’s game.
“At halftime I told them, they think they’re fifth in the nation and you don’t. Go show them you’re fifth in the nation. The girls went out and played like we know how to.”
The Mavericks dominated defensively in the second half, allowing Highlands to shoot only 36.7 percent, and that helped them get into their transition game.
Siu Lo’amanu came off the bench and provided the spark CMU (8-0, 4-0 RMAC) needed, with eight points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal in 16 minutes of playing time.
“Siu played great,” Wagner said. “The second half defensively she did a great job, stepped up and hit a 3. She gave us what we needed: energy off the bench.”
Selsor, despite jamming her right thumb last week in practice, finished with 32 points, 19 in the second half.
“She started off really hot and hit a couple of shots, and they bodied her up and were physical,” Wagner said. “She had a good performance tonight, but it was a team effort tonight. Everybody was picking it up. We need that. If we can be a little more balanced it makes it more difficult (on the defense).”
Aubry Boehme scored 16 points, and Taylor Rock added 14, hitting four of eight from the 3-point line.
Mesa shot 43 percent from the field and 47 percent from the 3-point line.
“I’m happy with it,” Wagner said of winning both road games. “There’s still some improvements we need to make. ... We’ll be glad to get home and play in Brownson. I told the girls before (the trip), no excuses. Let’s go down and get through it. Luckily, we got it over with.”