CMU Mavericks clinch RMAC titles in both men’s and women’s basketball

A historic night for the Mavericks

It was a night to remember for the Colorado Mesa University Mavericks, as both the men’s and women’s basketball teams secured the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) regular season titles on Wednesday. The men’s team defeated the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers 79-69, while the women’s team edged out the Westminster Griffins 64-63. Both games were played at the Brownson Arena in Grand Junction, Colorado.

The men’s team finished the regular season with a 19-3 record, 16-2 in the RMAC, and claimed their first conference title since 2014. The women’s team ended with a 17-5 record, 15-3 in the RMAC, and earned their second consecutive conference title and fourth in the last six years.

Both teams will enter the RMAC tournament as the top seeds and will host the quarterfinals on Saturday.

The men’s team overcomes a slow start

The men’s game was a battle of the top two teams in the RMAC, as the Mavericks and the Orediggers entered the game with identical 15-2 conference records. The Orediggers started strong, leading by as many as 12 points in the first half, but the Mavericks rallied back and cut the deficit to four at halftime, 36-32.

The second half was a different story, as the Mavericks took control of the game with a 16-4 run to start the half. They never trailed again and led by as many as 16 points in the final minutes. The Mavericks shot 50% from the field and 40% from the three-point line, while holding the Orediggers to 38% and 29%, respectively.

CMU Mavericks clinch RMAC titles

The Mavericks were led by senior guard Ethan Menzies, who scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Junior guard Mac Riniker added 18 points, six rebounds, and four assists, while senior guard Tommy Nuno chipped in 14 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.

The Orediggers were paced by senior guard Brendan Sullivan, who had 19 points and five rebounds. Junior guard Mason Baker had 15 points and six rebounds, while senior forward Michael Glen had 14 points and seven rebounds.

The women’s team survives a thriller

The women’s game was a nail-biter, as the Mavericks and the Griffins traded leads throughout the game. The Mavericks led by as many as nine points in the first half, but the Griffins fought back and took a one-point lead at halftime, 32-31.

The second half was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team leading by more than five points. The Griffins had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, but senior guard Mariah Martin missed a jumper and the Mavericks secured the rebound and the victory.

The Mavericks shot 43% from the field and 35% from the three-point line, while the Griffins shot 41% and 33%, respectively. The Mavericks also had a slight edge in rebounds, 34-32, and assists, 15-13.

The Mavericks were led by senior guard Kelsey Siemons, who scored a team-high 18 points and dished out five assists. Junior guard Dani Turner had 15 points and four rebounds, while sophomore forward Kylyn Rigsby had 13 points and six rebounds.

The Griffins were led by senior guard Hunter Krebs, who scored a game-high 23 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Senior forward Sara McGinley had 14 points and six rebounds, while junior guard Kaylee Carlsen had 10 points and four assists.

Looking ahead to the RMAC tournament

The Mavericks will host the quarterfinals of the RMAC tournament on Saturday, March 6, at the Brownson Arena. The men’s team will face the eighth-seeded Colorado Christian Cougars, who defeated the ninth-seeded Adams State Grizzlies 80-76 in the first round on Tuesday. The women’s team will face the seventh-seeded Colorado School of Mines Orediggers, who defeated the 10th-seeded Black Hills State Yellow Jackets 67-60 in the first round on Tuesday.

The semifinals and finals of the RMAC tournament will be held on March 9 and 10, at the site of the highest remaining seed. The winners of the RMAC tournament will earn automatic bids to the NCAA Division II tournament, which will begin on March 13.

The Mavericks will look to continue their impressive seasons and make some noise in the postseason. They have shown that they are among the best teams in the RMAC and the region, and they have the talent and the experience to compete for the national title.

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