Rangers roll past Mavericks in women’s basketball
Size and outside shooting doomed the Mesa State College women’s basketball team Saturday night in a 79-64 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference loss to Regis University.
When the Rangers (4-3, 1-2 RMAC) weren’t lobbing the ball inside to 6-foot-5 junior Salina Kuiper, they were knocking down 3-pointers at crucial times.
Mesa State had fought back from a 19-point first-half deficit to trail by only six at halftime, but the offense that was running on all cylinders in the final two minutes of the first half went stagnant in the first five minutes of the second.
Regis, leading 39-33 at the break, went on a 13-3 run in the first 3 ½ minutes of the second half to push the lead to 52-36.
It was too much for Mesa State to overcome.
In that decisive run, the Rangers scored on a lob to Kuiper, who finished with 18 points, and hit three 3-pointers, with Chelsea Porter draining two on her way to a 22-point night.
The Mavericks, who shot 50 percent from the field in the first half by attacking the basket and getting open looks from the perimeter, cooled off and hit only 35.5 percent in the second half.
In the first half, Regis stretched a 16-15 lead to 19 points, 38-19, going on a 22-4 run.
During that time, Mesa State coach Roger Walters called two timeouts to try to stop the Rangers’ momentum and to make some adjustments.
A 14-1 run to close out the first half was a pretty good adjustment.
The Mavericks (1-5 0-3 RMAC) got a couple of stops defensively and got their offense back in gear.
Hannah Breidel, back after missing two weeks with a sprained left knee, scored on a baseline drive, Jennifer Landers was fouled on a drive and hit a free throw, and then she broke down her defender, driving for another layup.
Jocelyn Zarling drained a 3-pointer from the corner with 45 seconds to play in the half and on the other end, swiped the ball and started a 2-on-1 break down the sideline.
Landers sped down the middle of the floor and Zarling fed her a sweet pass as she drove in for a finger-roll in the lane.
She was fouled and hit the free throw with 27.9 seconds on the clock cutting it to 39-30.
She wasn’t done, though.
The Mavs got a defensive stop and Landers hit a 3 with two seconds on the clock.
The size of Kuiper, though, was simply too much for the undersized Mavericks to handle. They tried fronting her, they tried playing behind her, doubling down when the ball was lobbed inside, but they were simply too small to keep her away from the basket.
Courtney McCaig, the Mavs’ starting post, fouled out trying to keep her off the low block, and Kimbrow, a 6-foot junior, had four fouls.
Landers led the Mavericks, who play Metro State at 5 tonight, with 16 points, Katie Cupp had 11 and Zarling, Breidel and Jenn Kimbrow had 10 each.