Mesa State women rally, but fall short vs. CSU-Pueblo
Just when it looked like the Mesa State College women’s basketball team was heading for another loss, the Mavericks made a run.
That run, though, didn’t last.
CSU-Pueblo tuned up the defense and pulled away for a 62-60 RMAC victory on Thursday night at Brownson Arena. It was Mesa’s 11th consecutive loss of the season.
“They played zone down the stretch and we did not do a good job penetrating the gaps,” Mesa State coach Timi Brown said. “We did a good job against man (defense), but we’re not getting in the gaps against the zone.
“It’s our decision-making when the game gets close. Our attitude is positive. We’ve got to keep playing hard.”
Alishea Kelly led Mesa State with 11 points. Stephanie Delgado had eight points and seven rebounds before fouling out.
“Steph was in foul trouble and that was key,” Brown said. “That took her out of her game mentally. It’s hard when you pick up your fourth foul early in the second half.”
Mesa State had 23 turnovers and shot 36.4 percent from the floor.
“We turned the ball over 23 times against a team that plays zone,” Brown said. “We made bad decisions and were limited to one shot a lot. They got us on the curl cut eight, 10 times.”
Mesa State (3-13, 0-8 RMAC) trailed 41-30 early in the second half when the Mavs went on a 17-0 run to take a 44-41 lead.
Abby Hancock hit a 3-pointer to ignite the Mavericks’ offense. Jennifer Landers hit a couple free throws and Ashley Davis scored inside.
“We picked them up full (court) and anticipated the pass,” Brown said. “We got some box outs.”
Mesa forced three turnovers during the run as well.
The ThunderWolves (11-5, 5-3 RMAC) snapped out of their funk after three timeouts in a
2 ½ minute stretch.
Mary Rehfeld hit a jumper, was fouled and converted a three-point play. Amanda Bartlett made a basket the next time down, then Rehfeld nailed a 3-pointer for a 52-46 lead as CSU-Pueblo went on a 19-4 run to close the game.
Michelle Ambuul led the way with 17 points. Mary Rehfeld had 15 and Jonnie Draper added 14.
“Mesa played hard,” CSU-Pueblo coach Kip Drown said. “I watched tape of them playing against Kearney and they competed hard. You can’t lose as many kids as Timi lost and lose (Kelsie) Gourdin unexpectedly and get it all back in recruiting.
Gourdin left after last season. She would’ve been the top returning scorer for the Mavericks this season as a junior.