ThunderWolves use 3-pointers to top Mavs

Photo by William Woody— Mesa State’s Katie Cupp drives to the basket Friday night against CSU-Pueblo’s Kendall Babler during the first half of the Mavs’ 81-60 loss at Brownson Arena.

Colorado State University-Pueblo isn’t the best 3-point shooting team in the RMAC.

You’d never know it from the first-half stats Friday night, when the ThunderWolves hit 10 of 18 from long range on their way to an 81-60 rout of the Mesa State women at Brownson Arena.

The ThunderWolves have been shooting only 28.9 percent from the 3-point line, 12 in the 14-team conference. Friday night, though, they hit 15 of 35, a whopping 42.9 percent, and built the lead to as many as 37 points in the runaway win.

Mesa State, on the other hand, is the No. 3 team in the RMAC in long-range shooting at 34.4 percent. The Mavs, though, only hit two of eight in the first half and six of 19 for the game.

Still, Roger Walters talked to his team Thursday during a film session about closing out on perimeter shooters, and when the Mavs kept losing shooters a little more than 24 hours later, he spent two timeouts in the first four minutes, trying to make adjustments.

“That’s embarrassing,” Walters said after the game. “That’s the worst we’ve played defensively. Offensively we were fine, but we were flat. I don’t know why, other than we didn’t have them ready to play.”

Mesa did better at guarding shooters for the most part, but the T-Wolves were having one of those nights where just about everything was falling.

Five of their first eight field goals were behind the arc, some well behind, as they steadily built their lead until it was more than doubled.

When they missed a shot, their size allowed them to get second chances, sometimes third and fourth chances.

“That’s a personnel thing,” Walters said of the ThunderWolves’ ability to hit the glass.

The lead kept growing in the second half, with the ThunderWolves alternately pounding the ball inside and hitting from the perimeter.

And when they attacked, the Mavs fouled, picking up five fouls in the first three minutes of the second half.

Courtney McCaig and Alaina Brennan scored 14 points each for the Mavericks, with Hannah Breidel scoring 12 off the bench.

The ThunderWolves (17-9, 13-5 RMAC) are the No. 3 seed from the West Division in the RMAC Shootout. They got 16 points from Caitlyn Jewell, who also had 12 rebounds. Rachel Espinoza, who hit three of four from the 3-point line, and Amanda Bartlett (5 of 9 from the 3-point line) scored 15 each.

Kendall Babler, a Grand Valley High School graduate, hit a pair of 3s and finished with 10 points. Katrina Selsor, a Glenwood Springs graduate, added eight points.

Mesa State (8-17, 5-13 RMAC) wraps up the season at 5 tonight at Brownson against New Mexico Highlands.

“This team can play match-up (zone) great in practice,” Walters said. “We just ask them to play like they practice.”


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