Mavericks cruise in season opener
On any given night, coach Jim Heaps is fond of saying, anyone can lead the Mesa State College men’s basketball team in scoring.
Just about all of them had a chance Friday in a 92-64 rout of Azusa Pacific (Calif.) University in the first round of the Colorado School of Mines Classic in Golden.
The two newest Mavs, Mike Dominguez and Lance Fite, led the way. Dominguez, a 6-3 senior guard, had 21 points and Fite, a 6-7 post, had 18 off the bench.
Jase Herl had 15 and Michael Bear and Ryan Mortensen 10 each for Mesa, which shot 54.5 percent from the field, including 59.3 percent in the second half.
Mesa used a 17-6 second-half run to push its 43-35 halftime lead to a comfortable 17-point advantage, 60-43.
Mesa’s defense allowed the Cougars to shoot only 38 percent from the field.
Asuza Pacific got 25 points from guard Dominique Johnson, but no other player reached double figures.
Dominguez, who transferred from Florida International, hit 7 of 11 from the field and all six free throws in his Mesa State debut.
Fite, who transferred from Glendale (Ariz.) Community College, had a double-double, hitting 6 of 9 from the field, 5 of 6 free throws and had 11 rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench.
The Mavericks, who play Southwestern Assemblies of God today, hit 25 of 33 from the line. Asuza Pacific was 16 of 26.
The Mavericks scrambled back from a seven-point deficit with 8:39 to play and led by one, 61-60, with 3:18 left, but couldn’t close out their first game under first-year coach Roger Walters, losing 72-64 to Northwest (Idaho) Nazarene in the Western Oregon tournament.
Sophomore forward Jennifer Landers scored 21 points for Mesa State, and Courtney McCaig and Meagan Selvidge added 14 each.
The Mavericks led 34-28 at halftime, and were clinging to a 43-30 lead seven minutes into the second half. The Crusaders’ Janee Olds hit a 3-pointer to tie it and Heather Adams took a pass from Olds a minute later and hit another 3 for a 46-43 lead.
“We had a chance there down three with three to go and had two possessions, an offensive board and didn’t really get a good look,” Walters said. “That was the way it went.”