Mavs need a win to host first round playoff game
The Colorado Mesa University men’s basketball team is in a must-win situation now.
The Mavericks (14-11, 12-9 RMAC) need to defeat Fort Lewis College (14-11, 12-9 RMAC) at 7:30 tonight in Durango for a chance to host an RMAC tournament first round game. Mesa is tied for fifth place in the RMAC with Chadron State and Fort Lewis, one game behind Nebraska-Kearney for fourth place. The RMAC tournament begins Tuesday at the four highest seeds.
Adams State (19-6, 15-6 RMAC) defeated the determined Mavericks 98-92 in a wild, physical game Friday night at Plachy Hall in Alamosa. The Grizzlies forced 27 turnovers and scored 35 points off turnovers.
Marqus Richards led the Grizzlies with 26 points.
Jamiko Verner scored 15 points, had 10 assists and eight steals.
Chandler Burgon led Mesa with 24 points. Michael Bear added 14 points. Jeff Hart and Nate Nelson each scored 11.
The Mavericks fought back from double-digit deficits in the first half and again in the second half, but fell short.
Adams State was so frustrated with Mesa’s rally, it received two technical fouls.
There were 68 fouls, five players fouled out and each team shot 46 free throws.
The Grizzlies took an early 12-0 lead and led by 21 points with 9:39 left in the first half.
Mesa chipped away and got Adams’ lead down to single digits by halftime, 47-42.
Adams pushed its lead back up to double figures in the second half and led by as many as 18 with 7:18 left in the game.
Mesa went on a 17-3 run spurred by a Nelson dunk to cut Adams’ lead to four with 1:45 left, but the Grizzlies hit 8 of 10 free throws the rest of the way to hold on.