Mavericks looking for third scorer

Colorado Mesa University forwards Leanndra Gilbert, left, and Siu Lo’amanu, second from left, challenge Taylor Rock for the rebound during practice Monday at Brownson Arena.



QUICKREAD

RMAC Shootout
7 p.m. tonight, Brownson Arena

Colorado Mesa (25-1) CU-Colorado Springs (13-13)

PG Christen Lopez, 5-4 Sr. Jeri Pikul, 5-9 Sr.

8.5 ppg, 4.8 apg 8.9 ppg, 1.7 apg

G Sharaya Selsor, 5-9 Sr. Abby Kirchoff, 5-11 Jr.

24.9 ppg, 3.8 apg 21.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg

G Taylor Rock, 5-10 Sr. Jessika Kienitz, 5-10 Jr.

8.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg 7.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg

F Hannah Pollart, 5-11 Sr. Kellie Krueger, 6-1 Jr.

6.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg 8.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg

C Aubry Boehme, 6-0 Sr. Sam Patterson, 6-1 Jr.

14.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg 4.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg

 

About the Mavericks: Colorado Mesa opens defense of its RMAC Shootout championship, putting a 36-game home winning streak on the line. The Mavericks lost for the first time all season last Saturday, finishing the regular season 25-1, the same record they had at this time last season. Mesa beat UCCS 64-46 at Brownson in January, the only time the teams played this season.

About the Mountain Lions: UCCS has used several different lineups, sometimes playing four guards and one center, other times three guards and two post players. The Mountain Lions were picked to win the RMAC regular-season title but finished with the No. 8 seed. They have won their past five games and six of the past seven, losing in overtime to Adams State.

Tickets: Fans can purchase tickets for tonight’s game online at cmutickets.com. Reserved seats are $15, general admission $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (65-older) and $5 for students. CMU students are admitted free with a MavCard. Tickets will be sold at the game, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. tipoff.



It’s pretty much a given that every night out, Sharaya Selsor is going to be right around her scoring average of 24.9 points per game for the Colorado Mesa women’s basketball team.

Might be a couple less, might be several more. She’s had two 40-point games and five games with 30 to 39 points.

Aubry Boehme will more often than not be in double figures, anywhere from 10 to 24 points.

Point guard Christen Lopez is good for at least 8-10 points, as is guard Taylor Rock. Hannah Pollart will grab offensive rebounds and put in three or four buckets a night.

When one or more of the senior starters heads to the bench, though, there hasn’t been that consistent offensive threat off the bench.

It’s been a scoring by committee approach, with point guard Erin Reichle averaging four points and post Hannah Bowden three. From there, it’s anywhere from one to three points a night from the reserves.

Entering the RMAC Shootout, which for the Mavericks (25-1) begins at 7 tonight at Brownson Arena against CU-Colorado Springs, coach Taylor Wagner is looking for just a little bit more.

“We always talk about having that third scorer. It’s great to have that fourth scorer, but you need to have that third scorer on the floor,” he said Monday as he watched film of the Mountain Lions (13-13).

“It doesn’t matter who it is. You have to make sure shots are coming from different spots and make it difficult for them to guard when you have that. For the most part all year we’ve had three or four scorers, and that’s what makes you so good throughout the year.”

The starting guards log the majority of minutes: Selsor plays 36.4 minutes per game, Rock 32.5 and Lopez 29.5.

Boehme plays 27 minutes a game, with Hanna Bowden spelling her.

The forward spot has been a rotation, with Pollart playing 22.6 minutes. Siu Lo’amanu was getting the majority of backup minutes early, but Leanndra Gilbert has been playing outstanding defense the past month, and her minutes have increased.

“All three, Siu, Hannah and Lea, all bring something different,” Wagner said. “What predicates who’s in there is what we need and what’s going on. That’s been the merry-go-round position this year.

“They all need to play well and bring something good. I’m not worried about who it is. Whoever it is, they’ve got to play good.”

Lo’amanu, who can also play on the wing, has been in all 26 games, averaging 2.7 points and 3.4 rebounds. At 5-foot-10, she’s the shortest of the three forwards but has scoring range, shooting 41 percent from the 3-point line.

“We’re all different,” she said before practice Monday. “Lea, when she gets in the game, she’s a rebounding machine. Whenever we need her, just put her in and she does her thing. Hannah works really hard and finds lanes. We all bring something different.”

Gilbert has played in 16 games, averaging 2.3 rebounds and 2.8 points a game. She plays about nine minutes a game, but logged a season-high 19 against Western New Mexico three weeks ago.

Her breakout game came with 10 points at Western State, and she scored a season-high 12 at Chadron State.

“The bench players have to be ready,” Lo’amanu said. “When we come in we have to be able to step it up when he needs us. I think we’ve done pretty well to this point. Now, it’s just stepping up and making shots and doing what we need to do to win.”

The Mavericks will take any and all scoring as they try to win their second straight RMAC Shootout title and stay in contention to host the South Central Region tournament again.

The third of four weekly regional rankings will be released Wednesday, with CMU and West Texas A&M (24-2) in the running to host.

Coming off their first loss of the season, Wagner said the Mavs have a choice.

“Either you collapse or you figure out what went wrong and readjust what you’re doing,” he said. “We’ve got to put a little bit more focus on all the small stuff that we do great. If we do that, we’re tough to beat.

“We’ll see how we respond, and I think our girls are ready to play well in front of our home crowd and go out and defend their title.”

Lo’amanu said that loss made the Mavs hungry again. The sophomore heard what the atmosphere was like last year during the playoffs, and she’s eager to experience it for herself.

“I heard you can’t hear yourself,” she said, a big grin breaking across her face.


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