Colorado Mesa wins RMAC tournament with win against Colorado Christian
"Championship games are usually pretty ugly at the beginning,” coach Taylor Wagner said to describe the start of Saturday nights RMAC Shootout championship game.
Saturday evening, the Colorado Mesa Mavericks continued their role as host to the RMAC's best in the RMAC Shootout. The Mavericks were one of the last two teams left standing at the end of the week-long tournament, the other was the sixth seeded Colorado Christian Cougars. The Cougars were the only team to best the Mavericks during the Mavs near-perfect regular season.
The Cougars came out strong knowing that the regular-season champs would provide a tough championship game. The Cougars stingy defense kept the home team off the board except when points came from free throws early on. Taylor Torres of CCU scored the game's first points with a shallow three pointer near one minute in. The Mavericks first points came from the hands of Kelsey Sigl. After being fouled twice Sigil went two for two at the free throw line. After that it was Sigl again earning the Mavs points at the line going one for two after another foul by CCU.
Early on, CCU's BJ Moyes showed up against the Mavericks. Moyes scored eight points for the Cougars in the first 10 minutes. Moyes however would go down hard while attempting to score on the Mavericks late in the first half. She would not return to the game. Scoring was slow and not always a sure thing on the Maverick side of things. In the first half the Mavs went 1-5 on three pointers. The one coming from the hands of standout, Sharaya Selsor. The low productivity on Sharaya's part in the first half was not so much the result of an off night for the senior, but rather the affect of a stingy defense planned around her.
“They play a zone, so they were shading my side in the first half. In the second half I felt like I was able to find a lot more seams and holes in their defense” Selsor said. “In the first half I was frustrated. I felt like I almost wasn't part of the offense, because I couldn't find any seams.”
While the going was tough for both teams in the first half, CMU closed up as the game neared halftime. The Mavs would tie the score late only to see the Cougars pull away. As the half ran out, both teams headed to the locker rooms tied at 27.
The second half was nearly all Mesa. After an opening minute of no scoring, the Mavs scored the first four points of the second half thanks to two Kelsey Sigl layups.
Sharaya Selsor did in fact break out of the physical defense that the Cougars had built around her during the first half. Selsor hit a deep three four minutes into the half. Sharaya followed the three up with a jumper good for two roughly a minute later. Taylor Rock helped the Mavs shooting percentage by hitting a three from the left side, putting the Mavs up by eight.
The Mavericks defense was the story of the remainder of the game while the Mavs held the Cougars to only four points during the last six minutes of the game. Swats from both Kelsey Sigil and Katrina Selsor that resulted in turnovers led to the Mavs dominate defense.
“Mesa has a really, really good team, the one thing I am proud of is the fact that we were the only team in the RMAC to beat Mesa [in regular season]” CCU head coach Tim Hays said in the post-game presser.
“To sleep in our own beds, be in front of our own crowd, and shoot on our own baskets was a big deal” Mavericks head coach Taylor Wagner said of his teams dominant run through the RMAC shootout.
Katrina Selsor was named the RMAC shoot out tournament's most valuable player, an honor she also earned as a freshman.