Colorado Mesa turns the tables on FLC

Skyhawks rally falls short on the Mavericks’ home court

Katerina Garcia led all scorers Friday with 26 points. But that wasn’t enough to lift Fort Lewis over Colorado Mesa, and the Skyhawks lost their RMAC Shootout game 73-65 in Grand Junction. Enlarge photo

Dean Humphrey/The Daily Sentinel

Katerina Garcia led all scorers Friday with 26 points. But that wasn’t enough to lift Fort Lewis over Colorado Mesa, and the Skyhawks lost their RMAC Shootout game 73-65 in Grand Junction.

GRAND JUNCTION

Another goal in sight, the Colorado Mesa University women’s basketball team wasn’t going to have another slow start against Fort Lewis College.

Just the opposite — the Mavericks raced to an 11-0 lead in the semifinals of the RMAC Shootout at a jam-packed Brownson Arena and held off every rally the Skyhawks could muster Friday night, moving into tonight’s title game with a 73-65 victory.

“The last game Fort Lewis came out and jumped on us, and we had a slow start,” Mavericks guard Katrina Selsor said. “We knew we had to come out and start strong and do the same thing to them that they did to us. We had to come out and put them away and make them know they have no chance.

“They made a run in the second half, and that’s when Kelsey (Sigl) stepped up, and our different key players stepped up, and we just kept going with it.”

The Mavericks’ four all-conference players led the way.

Katrina Selsor finished with 21 points, Sigl had 18 (14 in the second half), Sharaya Selsor 13 and Bruna Deichmann 12 for the No. 4 Mavericks (27-1), who set a school record for single-season wins.

Colorado Mesa, the top seed in the Shootout, will play 6-seed Colorado Christian at 7 p.m. for the title and the automatic bid to the South Central Region tournament next week. A win for the Mavericks will all but guarantee they stay at Brownson Arena, which drew 1,573 fans for the semifinal game.

The Skyhawks (18-10), who entered the tournament ranked eighth in the region, came back behind their senior point guard, Katerina Garcia, who led all scorers with 22 points. She also had eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.

“My teammates had a lot to do with it. Nobody wanted to lose. A team has to lose; one of them has to lose,” Garcia said. “As a senior, I didn’t want this to be my last game. I don’t think any senior ever does; you don’t want to close that chapter of your life. That was really my driving point.”

Garcia scored six points in a 12-6 second-half run that cut the Mavericks’ lead from 46-35 to 52-49 with 11 minutes, 55 seconds to play.

“We had to chip away, and I told them, ‘They took a big swing at you. You’re either going to get knocked out, or we’re going to fight back in it,’” FLC head coach Jason Flores said.

“It wasn’t going to happen in one or two possessions. We dug ourselves a hole, and we’re going to have to string together a few defensive stops and then go to work and attack a little bit more than we were at the beginning of the game,” he said.