Study break: Finals over, Mavs concentrate on hoops

Now that final exams are over, Taylor Rock and the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Colorado Mesa can concentrate on basketball until the spring semester begins.


Mav Watch

Men’s Probable Starters

Colorado Mesa (3-3, 1-1) Western N.M. (0-5, 0-2) N.M. Highlands (4-2, 1-1)

PG Joe Kiely, 5-10, So. Terrez Scott, 6-0, Jr. Stargell Love, 6-3, Sr.

9.0 ppg, 4.2 apg 6.2 ppg, 5.4 apg 8.5 ppg,3.7 apg

G Landon Vermeer, 6-2, Jr. Adam Kesler, 6-0, So. Dom Baca, 6-2, Sr.

11.5 ppg, 1.5 apg 7.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg 3.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg

G Mike Melillo, 6-5, Jr. Steven Loucks, 6-5, Fr. Mannie Cass, 6-7, Sr.

8.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg 8.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg 13.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg

F Jon Orr, 6-6, Jr. C.J. Grigg, 6-7, Jr. Drew Martin, 6-7, So.

6.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg 9.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg 5.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg

C Ryan Stephan, 6-10, So. Brelan Berry, 6-8, Sr. Augustus French, 6-7, Jr.

15.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg 9.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg 5.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg

About the Mavericks: Four different players (Vermeer, Stephan, Melillo, Jerry Duckworth) have led the Mavericks in scoring this season. Mesa is second in the RMAC in field goal percentage (51.5) and third in assists (15.7 per game).

About the Mustangs: Four different players have led the team in scoring during their first five games. Western New Mexico is last in the RMAC in scoring (58.0 points per game) and last in field goal percentage defense (51.0).

About the Cowboys: Highlands allowed 100 points or more in its first two conference games of the season last weekend, defeating Colorado Christian 102-100 in double overtime, then losing 111-63 to Colorado Mines. The Cowboys have lost two of their past three games.


Women’s Probable Starters

Colorado Mesa (6-0, 2-0) Western N.M. (4-3, 1-1) N.M. Highlands (4-3, 1-1)

PG Christen Lopez, 5-4 Sr. RaTanya Newsome, 5-5 Jr. Giulia Simioni, 5-6 Fr.

7.8 ppg, 6.0 apg 12.4 ppg, 4.7 apg 6.0 ppg, 2.0 apg

G Sharaya Selsor, 5-9 Sr. Kim Clark, 5-9 Sr. Michelle Traynham, 5-10 So.

25.7 ppg, 5.5 apg 7.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg 15 ppg, 4.8 rpg

G Taylor Rock, 5-10 Sr. Ashley Mitchell 5-10 Jr. Anngelina Sanchez, 5-9 Jr.

9.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg 15.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg 2.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg

F Hannah Pollart, 5-11 Sr. Nalani Hernandez, 5-9 Jr. Jenny Johnson, 5-10 Jr.

7.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg 6.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg 11.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg

C Aubry Boehme, 6-0 Sr. Stephanie Moore, 6-1 Jr. China Smith, 6-1 Sr.

12.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg 10.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg 13.4 ppg, 12.8 rpg

About the Mavericks: CMU leads the conference in most categories, including scoring (79.8), scoring defense (50.3), scoring margin (29.5), field goal defense (30.7) and rebound margin (15.7). Mesa is second in the nation in scoring defense and third in rebound margin. Sharaya Selsor is first in the RMAC and second in the nation in scoring average (25.7). Aubry Boehme is first in the RMAC and third in the nation in field goal percentage (71.7). Christen Lopez and Selsor are 1-2 in the RMAC in assists.

About the Mustangs: Western New Mexico has made an RMAC-leading 22 3-pointers and averages 3.1 per game, second in the conference. RaTanya Newsome is third in the conference in assists per game (4.7) and second in steals per game (2.4).

About the Cowgirls: Senior post China Smith set an RMAC record earlier this season with a 28-rebound performance against University of the Southwest, breaking former Maverick Pam DeCosta’s record of 27 rebounds. Michelle Traynham scored 35 points against Northern New Mexico.

Finals week is one of the most stressful weeks of the year for college students.

Many take to Twitter to express their relief when they finish.

For the Colorado Mesa University basketball players, basketball is a relief from the strain on the brain.

“This week was really stressful,” men’s basketball player Mac Alexander said. “Basketball was our stress reliever. Next week will be more fun.”

Finals week is not only tougher, it’s unique with different schedules to accommodate tests instead of the usual week-to-week schedule.

“It’s been different,” women’s senior guard Taylor Rock said. “When you have finals, you’re not always in class.

“It will be nice the next couple weeks not having class to worry about and just focus on basketball.”

Rock was a bit lucky and had all of her finals Monday, allowing her to enjoy practice more this week.

“I would say this week we’ve had more energy,” Rock said. “I don’t know if it’s because we’re getting done with class or if we know we have to bring it this weekend. Whatever it is, it’s good.”

Alexander took his last final Wednesday and was ready to focus on basketball for the next few weeks during the semester break.

“For once you have to focus on school first (during finals week),” Alexander said. “Maybe you can’t get extra shots because you have to go study. Sometimes you have to leave practice early so you can go study, at least for me.”

Junior teammate Landon Vermeer is happy to be done with finals.

“I can come to the gym and get more shots and not focus on school,” he said. “It is nice not to worry about it. The first few days, I think I have homework, then realize I have break. Next week you can just focus on basketball.”

CMU men’s basketball coach Andy Shantz is hopeful having finals done will help the Mavericks overcome their slow start in games this season. Mesa has trailed at halftime in five of its six games this season.

“We need to make sure we’re focused going in,” Shantz said. “Hopefully it will help with finals being over and behind us.”

Vermeer is looking forward to the break, even though the Littleton native will be in town while most college students go home for the break.

“It’s different being off campus,” Vermeer said. “When you’re on campus, it’s weird with everyone away because campus is deserted. Being off campus is not as bad. My fiancée stays here for the most part, and I can hang out with her. It’s fun to watch movies and hang out.”

Vermeer is getting married in the summer. His fiancée is also a Colorado Mesa University student.

A few weeks of only playing basketball and relaxing makes being on campus during winter break a little more tolerable.

“It’s fun,” Alexander said. “All you’ve got to do is play basketball and hang out with your teammates. You can’t ask for much more than that.”


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