Slick passing leads No. 2 Mavs past Mines
Everyone in Brownson Arena — and it was a pretty full house for the second-ranked Colorado Mesa women’s basketball team’s game — ooh’d in unison.
Taylor Rock and Sharaya Selsor grinned all the way back down the floor.
Selsor had the ball at the top of the key Friday night and spied Rock in the corner. As soon as the ball left her hands, Selsor cut hard through the lane toward the basket. Rock’s hands barely touched the ball, instead flicking a touch pass to Selsor for an open layup and a 56-29 lead over Colorado School of Mines.
That was only one of the pretty passes resulting in easy layups in the Mavericks’ 85-54 victory, their 18th straight, tying the school record set last season.
“That was fun. She just happened to cut and I was right there, and it was running down on the shot clock,” said Rock, who dished out a career-high nine assists. The Mavericks had 23 assists on 32 made baskets. “We were both smiling all the way down the floor.”
Selsor was the recipient of several of those nice passes in her game-high 30 points, but Aubry Boehme was the biggest benefactor. The Mavericks’ 6-foot senior post scored a season-high 24 points, beating the Orediggers down the floor in transition and pinning her defender for easy buckets in the half-court game.
“There were good screens, and we ran a few plays that incorporated me getting easy baskets, and it ended up working out,” she said. “I love those layups.”
Boehme had 10 points in the first six minutes, and midway through the first half, a 3-pointer by Selsor (off an assist from Rock) triggered a 19-4 run that gave the Mavericks (18-0, 9-0 RMAC) a 38-19 lead with 4:04 to play in the half.
“I think we’re starting to figure each other out,” Rock said. “We’ve gone through a couple of ups and downs where it doesn’t seem like our chemistry is there.
“It’s definitely coming along. Our week of practice had a lot to do with that, getting back to having fun as a team.”
The Mavericks had a little more attention drawn to them this week after moving up to No. 2 in the nation, but instead of being a distraction, it seemed to get them locked in.
That showed in their offensive execution. CMU shot 59 percent from the field, outrebounded Mines 36-25 and allowed the Orediggers (6-12, 5-9 RMAC) to shoot only 33 percent.
“They were in a groove,” CMU coach Taylor Wagner said. “I think Sharaya was at a different (level this) week of practice. She was really determined, had a lot of energy, and it carried over tonight, same as the other girls. It carried over.”
Selsor mixed attacking the basket with her perimeter game, trying to set up her teammates when she penetrated and the defense collapsed on her.
“I think it’s a chemistry thing,” Boehme said. “We had a lot of fun this week in practice. We worked hard, but we still had lots of fun. I think when you get that comfortable with your teammates, things start to come together. It’s easier to see them, to make the right reads and the right pass at the right time. I think that’s why we were so successful.
“One time Ray had an awesome pass to me, and I said, ‘Ray, that was so much fun.’ It was so simple, but it was fun.”
With 54 points coming from Selsor and Boehme, the stat sheet might look lopsided, but that wasn’t necessarily the case. Rock had eight points, six rebounds and one steal, Boehme had a half-dozen rebounds, and Christen Lopez had a half-dozen assists and three steals.
“They might have gotten a lot of those (points), but the girls were finding them, and why not go back to them?” Wagner said. “If it’s working, the girls found them, and that’s playing smart basketball. I’m happy about that.”