Feb 3, 2017
Colorado Mesa University men’s basketball took on the Western State Colorado University Mountaineers in a thrilling game that came down to the wire in the final seconds of action.
The Mavericks, coming off a trip to South Dakota losing to Black Hills State and beating South Dakota Mines, came ready to play despite the short practice week. The Mavericks needed to beat Western State in order to continue the hopes of a potential Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference postseason tournament.
The Mavericks record entering Tuesday was 6-15, WSCU’s was 5-15. Despite this, the Mavericks have a manageable second half of the season and know that their playoff hopes ride solely on them winning the rest of their games. They would especially need to win against teams with similar or worse records, such as the Mountaineers.
Things were back and forth between the two teams in the first half, with the Mavericks getting to an early 7-3 lead with 17:14 to go in the first. Then just like that, the Mountaineers connected on eight consecutive three-point shots while the Mavericks could barely keep up.
With a shade under six minutes to go in the first half, the Mavericks mounted a furious comeback lead by senior guard Eimer Lopez and junior guard CJ Davis, crawling back from a 37-22 deficit, to within one point at the end of the first half.
Halftime score was 47-46 Mountaineers, but with all the momentum on the Maverick side of the court. Within the first few minutes of second half action the Mavericks and Mountaineers were battling back and forth for the lead, with the Mavericks scoring a few, then WSCU scoring a few.
What separated this contest from most of the others the Mavericks have played in this year, was the success of the three-point shot, hitting nearly 60 percent from three, with eight of those threes coming from CJ Davis.
As the second half wore on the Mavericks were seemingly in control, but just as CMU was gaining momentum from beyond the arc, so too were the Mountaineers. Monroe Porter, Brady Subart and Collin Smith connected from three-point land in the few remaining minutes of the contest, adding to their shared success in the paint to bring it to a tie at 93 in the last 40 seconds of action.
However, the Mountaineers would fail to recapture the lead, despite their best efforts at fouling the Mavs to stop the clock and reset their offense. With every successful free-throw the Mavericks made, the chances of a WSCU comeback were slipping away until the buzzer sounded.
Final score, Mavericks 99 Mountaineers 97. WSCU would go on to lose Friday at home against Westminster college, and will head to Fort Lewis on Saturday in hopes of ending their three game losing streak.
For the Mavericks they will be back Saturday at home sweet home in Brownson arena to take on the Griffins of Westminster college who are also coming off their own win against WSCU. Tip off Saturday is at 7:30pm MDT.