Selsor has another career night
Senior guard scores 40 as No. 5 Mavericks cruise
The ball found Sharaya Selsor time and time again Friday night.
And time and time again, she hit nothing but net.
The senior guard scored a career-high 40 points — only one less than Chadron State scored the entire game — in the fifth-ranked Colorado Mesa University women’s basketball team’s 86-41 rout of the Eagles to open Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play.
Selsor scored 39 points in the second game of the season, breaking Tonya Stites’ record that is listed in the team record books.
After the game, Kristi Courter, who played at Mesa in the mid-1980s, said she scored 42 points in the RMAC title game in 1985. CMU’s sports information department is checking to verify the record.
“My teammates really set me up,” Selsor said. “When you can be shooting high-percentage shots, that’s the best basketball you can play.”
Selsor hit her first shot of the night, a 3-pointer off a screen at the top of the key, but it was her attacking the basket and cutting hard that made it easy for her teammates to find her in scoring position.
“It was weird, they were overplaying, but as soon as I got the ball they were jumping back, but they were biting on everything,” Selsor said. “If I just gave a quick shot-fake I had the lane. They were extremely good at the back-side help. Fortunately I was able to get to the hole and obviously my teammates found me on great dime passes. They set me up.”
She had 19 points by halftime — CMU (5-0, 1-0 RMAC) led 36-23 in a ragged first 20 minutes — and really got going in the second half when the Mavericks ratcheted up the defense.
“We talked at halftime about making some adjustments,” CMU coach Taylor Wagner said. “My voice might have gotten loud, it might not have, but we expect a certain (level) of play and probably for 10 minutes of the first half was the worst I’ve seen.
“We talk about being ready to play and that’s being ready in practice. We had an up and down practice all week; I told them hey, this is how you’re going to play and it was. We were lucky it wasn’t closer at halftime.”
Chadron missed its first four shots of the second half and didn’t score until the 15:09 mark. By that time, the Mavericks had ratted off 12 straight points, and two free throws by Selsor doubled the score, 50-25.
“You have to come out and even though you know you’re supposed to beat a team, you still have to respect them on defense,” Selsor said. “I don’t think we necessarily did defensively. Us not playing as hard defensively resulted in us missing shots or shots not going in that we normally make.”
Selsor got to 36 points when she threw an inbounds pass from midcourt to the back side of the defense to Siu Lo’amanu, then sprinted hard to the lane, made a hard cut and Lo’amanu found her for a layup.
She made two free throws with 4:09 to play, then got a nice pass from Erin Reichle on a basket cut for her 40th point with 4:13 to play.
She came out to a standing ovation a few seconds later.
“She’s just so determined,” Wagner said. “That’s the one thing where they’ve gotta be ready for her.
“I know they’ve talked about it and saw her score 39 and she leads the RMAC in scoring and she’s our leading scorer. You know they’ve game-planned a little bit for her, but she’s determined.”
Now familiar with Wagner’s offense, Selsor spent the offseason working on shooting coming off screens.
“That’s all I worked on this summer,” she said. “Before I didn’t know what Wags’ system was all about and I’d never been in a system where you come off screens like that. That’s all I did this summer, practiced shooting off the move, off screens and getting that timing.”
Selsor, though, didn’t only score — she finished with seven rebounds, six assists, five steals and one blocked shot.
Reichle scored 10 points off the bench and Christen Lopez and Erika Musante had eight each.
Musante gave the Mavericks a lift inside with Aubry Boehme in foul trouble in the first half.
The 6-foot-2 sophomore center had five rebounds and one assist in her first extended playing time. She sat out last season with a knee injury.
“Erika did a great job,” Wagner said. “After the game I told them, she was ready for her opportunity. Some of these kids, they don’t know when it’s coming. It came for her tonight and she did a great job.”
Other than the slow defensive start, Wagner likes the progress the Mavericks are making.
They won their 25th straight home game — Wagner has never experienced a loss at Brownson Arena.
“It’s still a work in progress,” he said. “I look at every negative thing. We can find each other a little sooner and make it a little easier with some shots, but it’s coming.
“It’s great that it’s early and we can still improve.”