Mavs pound glass, WNMU
It was a foregone conclusion that Western New Mexico was going to try to double-team the post Saturday night at Brownson Arena.
But which post to double?
When there are three on the floor, there aren’t enough defenders to keep track, and the Colorado Mesa University women’s basketball team took advantage in an 86-48 victory.
“They have to with three trees sitting in there and they barely have anyone that comes up to our armpits,” 6-foot-1 sophomore post Hanna Bowden said. “Coach told us they’d be playing a lot of zone, and out of zone you usually get a lot of doubles because you’re more able to.”
The double-teams didn’t matter — the Mavericks simply threw opposite, where they knew a teammate would be wide open.
The Mavericks (11-12, 9-10 RMAC) dominated the game inside and outside, but especially in the paint, outscoring the Mustangs 48-14 inside.
And on the glass, they had a 52-24 advantage.
“I bet we’re averaging 40 points in the paint since we’ve gone to the big lineup, other than against Metro State,” coach Roger Walters said.
Despite playing a team that hasn’t won all season, the Mavericks didn’t back off, especially early, running out to a 43-26 halftime lead by shooting 56 percent from the field and shot 55.4 percent for the game.
“I think you just set your goals differently,” senior guard Alaina Brennan said. “You want to win every game, but we’re not going to be satisfied with a 10-point win. This is where we need to get better and get ready for the next couple of weeks. We needed to push ourselves and not be satisfied with a small win.”
Kelsey Sigl (20 points, 10 rebounds) scored outside and inside, and the Mavericks hit 6 of their first 7 shots from the field. That one miss was a 3 by Sigl that Hanna Bowden gobbled up off the glass, scored and was fouled. She hit the free throw for an 8-0 lead.
That offensive rebound wasn’t the last for the Mavericks, who had seven in the first half and 15 in the game, scoring 18 points off putbacks.
With Katrina Selsor (11 points, five rebounds, five assists, no turnovers, two steals) slipping passes over and around the Mustang defenders, the Maverick posts attacked the rim time and time again.
And when Western sagged inside, the Maverick guards — and Sigl — hit from the perimeter.
At halftime Walters told the Mavericks to continue to focus on defense and — his mantra — to play like they practice.
They did, building the lead to 30 only six minutes into the second half. They also took care of the ball, with only four second-half turnovers.
The Mustangs (0-22, 0-19 RMAC) suited up only eight players, something Walters knows about all too well, and couldn’t keep up.
Much of the second half was time for the Mavs’ reserves to get some quality minutes, especially 6-1 redshirt freshman Chrissy Armstrong, who is just coming off a bout with pneumonia. She had 10 points and four rebounds in 10 minutes, and was still a little winded afterwards.
“It was really hard but I pushed through it all week,” Armstrong said. “I don’t know, confidence, I guess. Kelsey is always on the bench telling me, ‘You’ve got it, kid, keep pushing through.’ She’s helped me so much. Starter, nonstarter, everybody backs me up.”
Even down the stretch, the Mavs ignored the scoreboard and just kept working.
“The lead didn’t matter,” Armstrong said. “We were still playing out game so it felt like a practice; it was a casual flow, big lead or not.”