Mavericks lose opener to Dallas Baptist
Dallas Baptist’s pressure defense allowed the Patriots to run out to a 13-2 lead and roll to a 99-78 victory over Colorado Mesa’s men’s basketball team in the season opener Friday night in the Heartland-RMAC Shootout in Dallas.
The Mavericks had seven first-half turnovers and shot only 35.5 percent from the field in the first half, falling behind 46-29.
“Their pressure did a really good job, and we didn’t handle it well,” CMU coach Andy Shantz said. “We knew going in they’d do that. We had some uncharacteristic turnovers and got us sped up. It’s pretty common, we don’t simulate that in practice very well and it was our first time seeing it.”
Dallas Baptist shot nearly 53 percent from the field in the first half and 53 percent for the game. CMU, after the poor first-half shooting, got into a rhythm in the second half, shooting 61 percent (17 of 28).
Mesa’s turnovers, though, and Dallas Baptist’s attacking offense, allowed the Patriots to take 73 field goal attempts, and they hit 11 of 31 from the 3-point line.
“It’s a really good offensive team. The last couple of years we’ve played them we were able to get them into a half-court game, and that favored us better,” Shantz said. “It’s a good team that was in the national tournament last year and has a good chance to be in it this year. It’s a really good team that played well, so give them credit. They hit shots and did a great job.”
Despite being thin in the post with an injury to 6-foot-10 post Filip Nowicki, the Mavericks hung with Dallas Baptist on the boards, being out-rebounded by only three, 36-33. Forward Connor Nichols had 14 rebounds and eight points.
James Sylvester, CJ Davis and Eimer Lopez each scored 19 points for the Mavericks, with Nate Hawley adding eight more. Myles Johnson led five Dallas Baptist players in double figures with 23.
“I’m extremely pleased to see us at least improve quite a bit the first half to the second half,” Shantz said. “That’s something to build on.”
A 8-3 run to end the first half allowed the Mavericks to lead at halftime and adjust on defense in CMU’s 68-54 victory over Dixie State.
“New coach, we had no film, no scout on them, so it took awhile to figure out some of the things they were doing offensively,” CMU coach Taylor Wagner said of the Trailblazers. “We settled down more on the defensive side and made some adjustments in the second half.”
Dixie switched defenses throughout the game, which also took the Mavericks a little time to get used to.
“We told them during halftime that any time they went to zone, crash (the boards) because they weren’t really blocking out,” Wagner said. “That’s why we got so many offensive rebounds (21). That was the biggest difference in the game. We needed more possessions because we didn’t shoot it all that well. The second half we figured it out a little bit.”
Erin Reichle and Bryanna Adams led the Mavericks in scoring and on the boards, each scoring 14 points. Adams had 11 rebounds, Reichle 10, with Nicole Archambeau and Ma’ata Epenisa grabbing nine each.
The Mavericks shot 33 percent from the field and only 28 percent from the 3-point line. Wagner was happiest about the defensive adjustments CMU made.
“The big thing is we were down and we got the lead going into the half. That was important to give us some momentum in the second half,” Wagner said.
“At halftime we talked about really clamping down defensively. We gave up too many points in the first half (33) and only 22 in the second.”
Sydney Small added 11 points and Archambeau 10, with Jaylyn Duran contributing seven and Khadija Vigil five off the bench.