Mavs fall flat, lose to Western in Gunnison
GUNNISON — Colorado Mesa University had a struggling Western State College women’s basketball team on the ropes.
The Mountaineers were on a three-game losing streak and appeared lost. The Mavericks, though, couldn’t put them away.
Western State rallied in the second half Friday to defeat the Mavericks 75-64 at Paul Wright Gym.
Colorado Mesa (8-7, 6-5 RMAC) lost to Western State for the third time in the past four seasons in Gunnison.
“We played incredibly well in the first half, then the second half we came out flat for whatever reason,” CMU coach Roger Walters said. “We gave up a 10-point lead in a matter of a couple minutes.
“We’ve got to play with energy and focus on the defensive end. Otherwise, you’re going to be defeated.”
Brooke Pendergraft led Western State (8-9, 7-4 RMAC) with 20 points. Nikki Trujillo had 18, Katie Hall added 14 and Jessica Lankston scored 13.
Kelsey Sigl paced Colorado Mesa with 19 points. Katrina Selsor scored 15.
Western State went on a 14-3 run to open the second half, turning a 10-point deficit into a one-point lead.
“The biggest thing is we came out in more of an attack mode offensively and defensively in the second half,” Western State coach Latricia Trammell said. “We were way too passive in the first half.
“It says a lot about the kids to recover from that. We definitely picked it up in the second half.”
The teams exchanged leads nine times before the Mountaineers went on a 16-5 run to lead 71-61 with 56 seconds left in the game. Western State shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half.
“We changed it up a little bit with our offense and did something we never did before,” Trammell said. “I think the girls embraced that and were excited about that.”
Colorado Mesa came out playing tough defense early, building a 12-0 lead.
Western State missed its first 10 shots before Katie Hall scored with 12:50 left in the first half. The Mountaineers cut it down to seven midway through the first half, but continued to struggle offensively. Western shot 30 percent from the floor in the first half.
“We kept them out of the lane in the first half,” Walters said. “The second half, we didn’t do a good job of that. We gave up too many layups.”
CMU, on the other hand, attacked the basket and shot 50 percent from the floor, including 4 of 8 from the 3-point line.
The Mavericks shot 30 percent from the floor in the second half, had 15 turnovers and were outrebounded 40-36.