Mines proves too much for CMU men

Colorado Mesa’s men’s basketball team had a good start, but couldn’t finish.

No. 13 Colorado School of Mines rallied in the second half to defeat the Mavericks 94-86 on Saturday night at Lockridge Arena in Golden.

Colorado Mesa (7-5, 5-3 RMAC) led by as many as 10 points early in the first half, but saw the lead fade in the second half.

The Orediggers went on a 14-4 run early in the second half and never looked back, leading by as many as 11 points.

“We bounced back from Friday night and executed much better, we just played an outstanding team,” CMU coach Andy Shantz said. “We had a hard time keeping out of foul trouble.”

The Mavericks committed 28 fouls. Mike Melillo fouled out early in the second half and three other players had four fouls.

Mines (11-0, 7-0 RMAC) made 31 of 37 free throws in the victory. Mesa shot 19 free throws, making 15.

Six players scored in double figures for the Orediggers. They were led by Luke Meisch with 19 points. Center Trevor Wages had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Brett Green and Brian Muller each scored 14.

“They are good off the dribble and attacked the basket,” Shantz said. “Their four (power forward, Meisch) is a big four and he shot 10 free throws by himself. They are a good team and are well-coached.”

Ryan Stephan led Mesa with 23 points. Jon Orr scored a career-high 21 points and had a career-high 10 rebounds for his first double-double with the Mavs. Clay Kame added 14 points.

Colorado Mesa took command early against Mines, building the 10-point lead.

The Orediggers chipped away and tied the game 38-38 with 40 seconds left in the half. Orr hit two free throws for a 40-38 halftime lead.

“They didn’t come out with a lot of energy and I thought we did, which was nice to see after (Friday) night,” Shantz said. “I’m proud of the way the guys competed.”

Mines opened the second half with a 13-6 run for a 51-46 lead. Melillo picked up his fourth foul and a technical four minutes into the second half and fouled out.

The Orediggers pushed their lead to 10 points, then Stephan hit a 3-pointer to cut Mines’ lead to seven. He hit his fourth 3-pointer of the night to get Mesa within six points, but Mines went on a 7-2 run to lead 80-69 with less than two minutes left.

Orr hit a 3-pointer with less than 30 seconds left to get Mesa within six points.

Mesa is back home this week, hosting CSU-Pueblo at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Brownson Arena.

The Mountain Lions (8-3, 5-2) defeated CSU-Pueblo (6-5, 4-3) 101-93 on Saturday night.


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