Mesa women win at buzzer
It’s a shot Sharaya Selsor has hit time and time again during her basketball career.
Maybe not to win a game at the buzzer, but the senior guard banked a short jumper just before time expired Friday night to keep the fifth-ranked Colorado Mesa women’s basketball team undefeated with a 67-65 victory over Colorado Christian.
The Mavericks (11-0, 7-0 RMAC) forced a shot-clock violation with seven seconds left to play in a tie game and called a timeout to set up the final play.
“We just said we can’t turn the ball over underneath their basket and give them an opportunity,” CMU coach Taylor Wagner said. “I’d rather go to overtime. We made a perfect pass to Sharaya, and she did her thing and scored the bucket.”
CMU’s defense forced Christina Whitelaw to take a couple of steps away from the basket as she was running the clock down for a shot late in the possession — there were seven more seconds on the game clock than the shot clock — and she couldn’t get a shot off. The Cougars, the only team to beat CMU in the regular season last year, pressed on the inbounds play, but Lopez passed over the defenders to Selsor, who made a move from about 10 feet from the basket and banked in the winner.
“It was kind of drawn up that way. We wanted Lopez to push it up, and they pressed, so we were able to throw it over both defenders,” Wagner said. “Sharaya made a great move and shot over the top of the big girl and banked it right in. It’s a shot she’s made all year.”
Selsor finished with 21 points, moving her into 16th on the career scoring list, just ahead of her sister, Katrina.
Colorado Christian played zone most of the night, and the Mavericks had trouble hitting from the perimeter, in part because they kept turning the ball over. They lost the ball 21 times, with the Cougars (4-6, 2-4) scoring 22 points off turnovers.
The game was tied 11 times, and there were 14 lead changes. The Mavericks, who had been shooting 46 percent from the field, managed to shoot only 36 percent against the Cougars, and made only 3 of 16 from the 3-point line. However, they hit 20 of 25 free throws.
“We missed a lot of layups in the first half, right at the bucket,” Wagner said. “Had we made three or four of those, we go in at the half up 8 or 10, and we have a little momentum. A 10-point lead in this game would be like a 25-point lead in others.”
Lopez hit all of the Mavericks’ 3-pointers in the second half, the biggest one coming with just more than three minutes to play for a 63-61 lead. Taylor Torres, though, answered for the Cougars one minute later to tie the game again, and Whitelaw gave CCU a 65-63 lead with 1:06 left.
With 38 seconds left, though, Aubry Boehme powered inside for a layup to tie the game again before Whitelaw’s turnover.
Boehme finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Lopez had 11 points. Mesa outrebounded CCU 52-31.
“The main thing I talked to them about was (CCU) is a good team,” Wagner said. “We can’t have any hiccups. We have to take care of business. We knew this was a tough place to play and it was going to come down to the end, and luckily we had the ball last.”