Archive for the ‘WNMU Basketball’ Category

Mustangs need a win tomorrow…

November 30th, 2015 No comments


WNMU is still looking for the first win of the season after coming close on 3 occasions. Quite honestly, if the Stangs don’t get a win in the rematch against Benedictine University tomorrow night, they may be looking for a long time to come. The RMAC schedule starts after that game and it’s going to be against some better competition than what we’ve seen so far.

This edition of WNMU’s team is still looking for it’s identity. Part of the problem is that there is not a floor leader or two, a player who wants to take the 14-15 shots a game and can make most of them. A player who can take the team on his shoulders and keep them in a game or carry them to victory. I’m not necessarily talking about a dominant player but someone who sets the tone and other guys find their roles in the scheme and do what they need for the team to win. There are a couple of freshman on the squad who could fill that role in the future but they aren’t in position to take it on right now.

On the defensive side, WNMU has got to have a more consistent effort. Shooting comes and goes for everyone (Steph Curry not withstanding) but hustle and smarts should be consistent; defense is based purely on hustle and smarts. It seems like this team lets its success on the offensive end dictate how hard they try on the defensive end. If guys are shooting well on offense, the defensive intensity is notched up; if the ball’s not falling for us, the defense is lacking in intensity.

Defense can keep a team in every game. The potential is there with Makhtar, Carter, and Daniel inside. They can and have disrupted the inside game and our rebounding has been more competitive early this year than it has been in past years; we’ve out rebounded our opponent in more games than not so far. We also have some shot blocking ability that we haven’t had in the past.

Emery is averaging almost a double/double. Steven has to pick up his scoring game as do Tanter and Adam, who are both shooting horribly. One of the tough things about a passing based game plan on offense, is guys tend to stand around too much. They’ve got to move better on offense. We’ve seen what happens when there is good movement, guys get open and get some easier shot opportunities.

Talking to the coaches, BenU was able to come back last week and get the win, because they were a step or two ahead of us going after loose balls, getting to rebounds, or playing defense; that allowed them to come from behind in the 2nd half and pull out the win.

BenU has had 3 games since we played them, all were losses but were competitive games. They lost to San Diego Christian by 10, Trinity International by 14 and Vanguard University by 6. All three opponents have winning records; two are undefeated. BenU continues to go deep into their bench and rotates a lot of guys in and out of the game. They are still getting double digit scoring from 2-3 guys a game and the 2-3 that provide it is rotating depending upon the hot hand. Tough to defend against.

Another tough loss

November 22nd, 2015 No comments


There were probably a couple of things you could expect from the Mustangs on Friday night at they took on Benedictine University in Mesa AZ. First, maybe they’d have a bit of a let down after the emotionally draining loss against NNM; second, Willie McCray would not have a good night after exploding for 39 on Monday. I think both came true, at least to some extent.

The Mustangs had been shooting well, not great, averaging about 40% overall while still shooting poorly, about 27%, from downtown. That goes against what the coaches thought might be the character of this team before the season started. There was a feeling that the team wouldn’t be able to get a lot of inside shots and might have to live and die off of the three point shot. But we’ve done a pretty good job of getting to the bucket so far; albeit against lesser defenses.

But they fell to 38% shooting overall against BenU, and still can’t hit a 3 point bucket; 5-22 (22.7%) on the night. They did shoot well from the line, 10-13 but BenU hit 17 out of 23 from the charity stripe. From what we saw, there was a bit of home cooking but the Mustangs don’t do a great job of creating contact to draw the foul.

Once again the Stangs out rebounded their opponents, 37-36, which continues a positive trend. And a big stat, Western only turned the ball over 12 times on the night, while creating 13 for their opponents.

The difference in the 8 point loss came on 3 more made three point shots and 7 more made FT’s. I know the math doesn’t add up, based upon that it should have been a 10 point win, not 8. But it’s BenU, in their first year of the program and it showed in their game management.

Emery Range didn’t continue his streak of double/doubles but led the team with 12 points on much better shooting, 6-12, than he’s had this season. Makhtar Fall tied for the rebounding lead with 8 in just 24 minutes after getting into foul trouble. Big thing for him was the zero in the turnover column.

As expected, Jordan moved to the bench and while it wasn’t a great performance, he did finally find the bucket, hitting 3-9 and 3-4 from the charity stripe, ending the night with 10 points. That’s what we need from him at this point in early in his career.

The scoring was fairly even on down the line, Tanter 9; McCray 7; Loucks 6; Aby 7; Kesler 6; Saenz & Fall 4. That’s nice to have everyone scoring in that range except that 2 of your starters, Loucks & McCray have got to score more. Between them and Tanter, they were 8-27 from the floor including 2-12 from downtown. Tanter did not get to the free throw line at all. While our offense is not necessarily predicated on the inside-out game, he’s still got to be getting inside and drawing some fouls to keep the defense honest.

While BenU didn’t provide the stats on how points were scored; our impression is that the WNMU defense allowed way to many inside the paint points. BenU had 17 assists as a team and got a lot of inside shots. We’ve got to be tougher inside; now understanding that Loucks and Fall both got called for tic-tac fouls inside which keeps them from being more aggressive.

The Stangs will get another chance at BenU in Silver City on the first. We’ll see if home cooking can spark them to their first win.

A thriller with a sad ending

November 17th, 2015 No comments


The Mustangs were part of one of the most exciting games to ever be played on Drag’s Court, unfortunately they came out on the short end 107-108 against Northern New Mexico College after it took 4 overtime periods to decided the issue.

There were a lot of positives to take away from the night, as well as some negatives that have to improve. Willy McCray exploded on the night for 39 points, just missing the WNMU single game record by a point. He made some key shots, showed that he can get to the basket and finish, as well as hitting some key free throws down the stretch. He also played good defense and handled the ball well.

Carter Aby also came up with some big plays, including a three point shot to extend the game beyond the 2nd OT stanza. He’s not strong but played passably well inside and got some key rebounds and blocked or altered a few shots to force misses. Carter will get stronger and needs to play a bit more aggressively on defense, but there is a ton of potential there.

The Mustangs turned it over 33 times, essentially in a game and a half, but that’s still way too many mistakes. We also got out boarded by a ton. It didn’t help that Makhtar Fall fouled out early in the 2nd half. His presence inside was missed. Big Mac can be more aggressive offensively, looking for his shot more, as he’s got strength to create space and a nice soft touch.

One of the keys to staying in the game was the play of the younger/newer players. Emery Range had a double/double, very quietly. But at key points and for most of the OT, it was McCray, Aby, Range, Enriquez, Van Den Kerkhoff, and Weeks on the floor. Loucks, Williams, Tanter were all in foul trouble or not effective and on the bench. The performance of the young guys gives us reason to hope that the team will continue to improve as the season moves along.

Free throw shooting was good in regulation, 75% from the stripe in both halves, but it dropped significantly in the OT periods, as did overall shooting. Some of the shot selection in OT needed to improved, a few shots were taken too early in the rotation and the shooter was off balance or not squared up to the basket. Those things should improve as players get more comfortable with the system and their role in the overall scheme.

There is a lot of improving to do, defensively especially, but the light is there. It just needs to get brighter quickly. There will certainly be ups and downs but these are the types of games that the Stangs should feel confident that they can win in the future.

Mustangs open at home against Northern New Mexico

November 16th, 2015 No comments


I know what some of you are saying, “What’s Northern New Mexico?” There is a college in Espanola and they’ve been around since 1901, or so they claim, in some form or another. They’ve been a junior college and a 4 year institution and come close to closing a number of times. They’ve been a high school with college curriculum, starting as a teacher’s school for Spanish language students. While most of their life has been primarily as a community college, they were given the OK 10 years ago to offer a 4 year degree elementary education and a year later the OK to offer any four year degree.

Athletically they are an NAIA school meaning they can take anyone they can get to fog a mirror. They offer basketball and cross country for both men and women. Until last year, they basically recruited Northern NM and into AZ. They were always small and fast. But over the last couple of years, head coach Riley Cordova has realized he can recruit from all over and has a varied roster, ranging from NM and AZ kids to adding kids from NC, VA and Egypt, Brazil, and Cameroon.

They are coming off a 20 win season and just missed getting back to back AII Conference championships losing the last game of the season in a thriller to the Ashford Saints. The Eagles are tabbed as the #2 team in their conference in the pre-season poll.

As usual they will try to play an uptempo game and will go deep into their bench. No one on the roster averages more than 19 minutes; in fact 4 guys average 18-19 minutes a game and only one guy gets less than 10 minutes a game, he gets 9.5 minutes a game. They are a mix of young players with experienced players; 8 freshman or sophomores, with 9 upperclassmen. 4 are transfers from other schools while the rest have been in the program.

The Eagles are 2-1, getting easy wins over Dine College & Future College, 111-43 & 96-65. Their lone regular season loss was to Arizona Christian, ranked #4 in NAIA(?), 61-79. They did lose to exhibition games to RMAC members, Adams State (91-80) and Colorado Springs (88-71). Both schools are pretty good.

Physically, WNMU and NNMC are similar with some decent size but a lot of guys in that 6-4 to 6-5 range with lanky builds. Like us they don’t have a ‘go-to’ scorer but a lot of guys contribute. Only 2 players average double figures with a whole bunch of guys getting 6-7 points a game. That means defense, team defense, will be key for the Mustangs.

Marcus Ellis, a 6-2 guard, leads the way with 11 ppg and a season high of 14 against ACU. He’s a decent 3 point shooter, 3-7 on the year, but prefers to get inside and create on his own. He is a solid defender and will get 2-3 steals a game but will also turn it over a couple of times.

Thomas Bullock, 5-9 guard, is second in scoring at just under 11 per game but he’s had a couple of good games, 13 & 15, while being held to just 4 against Az Christian. He shoots 75% from the field, having hit all 6 shots against Future College and 5-8 against Dine.

Their leading rebounder is Patrick Bendegue, 6-7 220 center. He’s grabbing about 8 per game and can get off inside, if he’s playing against smaller players. He was also shut down by ACU as they have players inside who can match up with him defensively. Makthar Fall will get the task of handling him inside.

As we said, there are a lot of guys who can score 6-7 a game. They are very active but for the most part create their own shots, their leading assist man has only 3 per game and isn’t a starter. They’ll push the ball up the floor and penetrate off of the set offense, looking for high percentage shots. They hit about 48% from the floor. They do turn it over a lot, almost 20 per game but they also create about 20 turnovers per game for their opponents.

They do not shoot free throws well, 57% from the stripe on 54 attempts. They also hit only about 31% of their 3 pt attempts. But they will out rebound their opponents by a ton as they crash the boards well.

In a quick overview, the Mustangs are relying on Makhtar Fall for about 15 a game while several guys are getting between 5-9 a game. We are shooting solid from inside, 43% overall, but terrible from 3 point range, 22% and the charity stripe, 46%. We have been out rebounding our opponents but need to protect the ball better, a lot better.

This is a game we can win and after losing two on the road to OPSU, we need to get a win tonight. We’ll go into more detail in the tip off show.

Mustang Basketball shows promise in two losses

November 15th, 2015 No comments


WNMU basketball is in another rebuilding mode after a dismal season last year. But there seems to be some cause for hope in watching the team’s openers at Oklahoma Panhandle State on Friday and Saturday. If the Mustangs can learn to shoot free throws and not turn the ball over a million times a game, we’ll be at worst competitive and we’ll have a chance to win some games. I can say one thing, we look more like a college basketball team than we have in a couple of years.

In the season opener, WNMU outshot OPSU percentage wise, 40% to 37%; out rebounded the Aggies 49-34 (I don’t think we’ve had that big a margin in a decade); and had more points in the paint, fast break points and bench points. But we had 37 turnovers which led to 23 points in a 21 point defeat. Not to mention we hit only 12-22 free throw attempts and were 1-14 from downtown. The turnovers allowed OPSU to take 75 shots compared to our 55.

In game two, a 9 point loss, it was more of the same but not on as big of a scale. We improved our shooting percentage to 46%, including a 50% clip in the first half, while OPSU hit only 38% & 19% from downtown. We won the rebounding battle again, 44-36 and our bench added 26 points to 12 from their bench. But we went 10-22 from the charity stripe, the Aggies were 27-35. The Stangs had 23 turnovers leading to 23 points for the home team. You can’t overcome that many mistakes.

The Mustangs have some young players who are going to have to learn but each improved in the second game so maybe there’s some hope to see this team get better as the season progresses.

Bright spots include transfer Makhtar Fall, 6-8 220 Sr, who led the Mustangs in scoring and rebounding both nights; 14 & 9 followed by 16 & 7 in the second game. He gives WNMU an inside presence that we’ve haven’t had in a decade.

Emery Range, 6-5 190 Jr, is another player not afraid to get the ball inside. He added 5 pts and 8 rebounds followed by a double/double, 11 & 11.

Steven Loucks, the returning Jr 6-7 190, didn’t see a lot of playing time on night one due to foul trouble getting 5 pts and 2 boards in 16 mins but he came back strong with a double/double as well, 11 pts & 10 rebounds.

There are several young guys with potential to grow into solid players and maybe a couple of stars in the group. Jordan Enriquez, Carter Aby, & Willie McCray all saw significant playing time and contributed to the effort. They will be inconsistent early but look for them to grow quickly into their roles.

Brandon Tanter, Brandon Williams, and Adam Kessler will all see more playing time, but one of them needs to step up and seize the role of floor leader as the ball handler. They’ve got to be enough of a scoring threat, driving inside, to keep defenses honest and they’ve got to protect the ball. Some of those turnovers are not on them, with a lot of new faces, guys don’t always know where to be and when the PG is trying to move the ball quickly, errant passes happen. It’s just like the timing between a QB and a WR.

There is room to hope based upon the performances at OPSU. Panhandle is a team that is similar to ours, they are coming off of a bad season with a lot of new faces. We just need to protect the ball, find a couple of consistent scorers and continue to rebound, block shots and hustle. We’ll get some wins if that happens.

Mustangs Host Colorado School of Mines

December 4th, 2014 No comments

WNMU opens up the RMAC season at home, for what seems like the first time in a few years. But it will be a tough home conference opener against Colorado School of Mines. The Orediggers come to Drag’s Court with a 4-0 record and were picked #3 in the pre-season standings by the coaches. One bright spot, the big guys for Mines, including Trevor Wages, are gone; not to mention, WNMU has kind of had the Orediggers’ number in the past few years, having beaten CSM 2 of their last three trips to Silver City and winning once in Golden, losing by a point in another game over that same stretch of time. Last year was not good; two big losses.

Mines is #5 in the RMAC in scoring per game at 78 points a contest to go along with a solid defense, #3 in the conference, allowing 67 points a game. They shoot a solid 49% from the floor while holding opponents to 43%. They’ve played a decent schedule getting wins against former RMAC foe, UN Kearney, DI UC San Diego (yes that San Diego), South Dakota Mines & Midamerica Nazarene. Their website is not updated, but MNU is an NAIA school that was 1-6 going into the Mines game; SD Mines is 2-7; UNK is 2-1 and a solid team; UCSD is 3-1 and another solid team.

The toughest thing about Mines is their depth and the number of guys that can score. For example, against UNK, 4 players scored over 15 points. All five starters average double figures, led by Sr G Brian Muller, a RMAC second team selection last season; he’s pouring in 16.5 per game, hits 51% and 47% from downtown, 81% from the line. He’s the main threat and can do it all, put it on the floor, move without the ball to get open…

Gokul Nateson & Caleb Waitsmen average 15 a game; Nateson is the three point specialist, hitting 10 of 22 from dowtown. He also gets to the line quite a bit where he hits about 70% of his attempts. Waitsmen, 6-8 215, is the ‘big’ guy inside. He’ll hit about half his shots, has gotten to the line a team high 30 times and hits about 70% of those shots, plus he leads the team in rebounding with 9 a game.

Trevor Ritchie and Joel Dellenbach round out the starting five avearging 12 & 10 points a piece respectively. Both hit well over 50% of their attempts, but Dellenbach is experiencing a long ball slump having hit only 4 of 15 attempts. Ritchie leads the team in assists with 19 but will turn it over, losing it 11 times this season.

Mines as a team plays some pretty good defense. They will block about 5 shots a game and get almost 9 steals per game, both among the best in the conference. Both Dellenbach and Waitsman have 5 blocks followed by Ritchie with 4. Natesan has 9 steals followed by Waitsman with 7. Overall it’s a pretty solid, team defense that doesn’t give up a lot of easy buckets. One weakness is giving up offensive rebounds, 10 per game which is among the worst in the RMAC. The Stang guards will have to hit the boards hard and Tyler Shea could be a big factor on this end of the floor.

The Mustangs are pretty much bringing up the rear in every statistical category. The key is going to be to find someone to score besides Marcos Castrillo, along with Marcos having to exert his will more consistently. Mines, I’m sure will try to deny the ball to Marcos in the low post and if he gets it there, he’ll be quickly double teamed. Someone is going to have to be cutting into the lane on the weakside looking for the pass. Marcos will have to make a quick move to score, before the help defense rolls over.

This probably won’t be a higher tempo game as the last couple involving WNMU have been, but WNMU may try and push the tempo a bit to take advantage of their speed, especially with the Brandons, Tanter & Williams. That may be the best way to get them in the scoring mode, not to mention trying to get Roland Wyatt a couple of high flying dunks to get the team and the crowd into the game.

Mustangs Conclude non-Conference Schedule

December 1st, 2014 No comments


The Mustangs will wrap up their non-conference schedule with their first home game of the season tonight, hosting #23 Angelo State University on Drag’s Court at 5 p.m. The Mustangs enter tonight’s contest 0-3 but had a strong outing against Eastern New Mexico last Saturday in the Pit; it was the first regular season game they have had all of their starters and their sixth man on the floor at the same time.

Angelo State entered play last weekend ranked #15 in the nation at 5-0 but split a pair of games in Grand Junction CO at the Colorado Mesa Thanksgiving Classic. Taking on a pair of RMAC members, Angelo State fell to the host team 70-67 but rebounded to defeat Western State Colorado University, 89-73. Their first five wins came against Oklahoma Panhandle, Texas A&M International, McMurry, Arkansas Tech and Oklahoma Wesleyan. Those teams are a combined 13-20, but ASU’s margin of victory is about 30 points a game.

ASU returns only 4 lettermen from last season’s squad including one starter. Omari Gudul is a 6-10 225 lb Jr forward who averaged 5 pts, 4 boards and 16 blocks. He’s now getting 8 pts a game, shooting at a 70% clip but still only pulling down 4 boards a game. Part of that might be that his team hits 53% of their shots but they are a tough defensive team holding opponents to only 33% of their attempts, 27% from downtown. He’ll still be a problem for the Mustangs given his size and ability to block shots.

Demario Mayfield is the leading scorer (15.6) and rebounder (5.6). He can shoot from all over and create off the dribble. He has taken the most attempts (46) and hits at a 54% clip; he will turn it over but can also play some solid up tempo defense as well. He might be a bit of a head case though; he was the GA high school player of the year and played at Georgia where he played in 18 games before transferring to UNC Charlotte where he averaged 11 points over two seasons along with about 7 boards. Now he’s in DII…

Chris Jones is one of two other players averaging double figures on points, (12.8). He will also penetrate and get short jumpers, hitting a lot of them, 60%. He’s only taken 6 three point shots and made 9 free throw attempts. He doesn’t like contact on the shot but will go in after the boards grabbing 4 a game. Like Mayfield he is at ASU for one season, transferring from Northern Texas where he was third all time in steals and sixth in assists. He set the freshman record in assists his first year at UNT and averaged 19 pts a game. That dropped the next two seasons to 9 & 8 pts respectively. He’s a quick point guard that doesn’t turn it over much, about once a game & leads the team with 17 steals.

Marsell Holden is another DI transfer, from Morehead State. He’s a 5-10 shooting guard who leads the team in 3 point attempts (31) and made 3 ptrs (10). He doesn’t do much else statistically for the team but shoot. He’s the outlet for Jones when he drives the paint and has to kick it out. At Morehead, he led the team with 73 three point shots made. Prior to that, he was a San Jacinto College where he was a JUCO All American and the TABC Player of the Year as he scored 20 points a game.

This team is pretty athletic and like ENMU scores a lot of points, 94 a game, while holding their opponents to just 60 a game. Again, against lesser talent but that’s what good teams are supposed to do, right? They will go deep into their bench as no one plays more than 24 minutes a game, only 4 players average over 20 minutes a game. They’ll try and push the tempo and wear down their opponents which will be a problem for WNMU.

Coach Law won’t be afraid of the up tempo style, he’ll only try to slow it down a bit. Once again watch for Western to work the ball inside to Marcos Castrillo but he’ll have the 6-10 Gudul to deal with inside; however, Gudul is not quick on his feet and Castrillo can put it on the floor against him; he’ll have to watch out for the help defense.

The Stangs will need some scoring from somewhere else, whether it’s one of the Brandon’s or Louckes on kick outs from Terrez Scott. Watch also for Gavin Wood to get some playing time and he’ll need to hit a few three point shots, along with Louckes, to pull the defense out of the paint and make room for Marcos and Scott.

We’ll have more on the Mustangs in the pre-game show at 4:30…

Mustangs rally falls short but team looked good

November 23rd, 2014 No comments


WNMU took on cross state ‘rival’ Eastern New Mexico in the Division II Classic held at the Pit in Albuquerque last night. It was supposed to be another small college showcase for the four small schools in NM but Highlands and Northern NM apparently didn’t want to participate so that left both men’s and women’s teams from WNMU & ENMU on the floor.

WNMU was coming off of a couple of unimpressive performances to start the season while Eastern was 2-2 with their losses coming last weekend against RMAC teams, CSU Pueblo and Ft. Lewis. ENMU is a high paced push the tempo team; think Loyola Marymount in the 80’s or any Paul Westphal coached team. They not only try to get lay ups but they also shoot the three in transition. Eastern had already taken 130 three point shots in 4 games, 23 a contest, while WNMU had taken a total of 23 three point shots in 2 games. Not many teams take 23 long shots in a game.

Coach Law wasn’t too worried about the fast pace, despite a shallow bench, believing that the Stangs only had to slow down the Greyhounds a little bit. Turned out he was right. WNMU took advantage of their opportunities on fast breaks throughout the night, especially early in the game as the guards for WNMU were hitting the boards hard, off of long rebounds especially, and WNMU was able to stay in the game.

Marcos Castrillo was unstoppable in the paint. Eastern didn’t have an answer for him in the post, low or high. Castrillo is able to hit the jump hook with both hands and has a soft touch facing the bucket. You can say he carried the team but it would be more accurate to say WNMU fed him the ball and dared Eastern to stop him.

Gavin Wood came off the bench to hit for 14 points, the only other Mustang in double figures. That’s what Coach wants from the freshman. Brandon Tanter and Brandon Williams each had solid games giving the Mustangs energy on both sides of the floor and you can see them getting more comfortable on the court after their red shirt seasons.

Having Terrez Scott back on the floor was also a big help as his presence, especially early, calmed the team down and gave them a sense of confidence. He was able to penetrate and dish or find others allowing them to score. When he went to the bench with foul trouble, the Brandons were able to keep things going, especially in the second half.

WNMU fell behind in the second half but was able to rally and had their chances late, but with 5 players fouling out, including Terrez and Steven Louckes, that left a line up in the game that hadn’t played a lot together. But Western was there to the end and Eastern hit their free throws late to hold off the Mustangs.

Louckes never really got going as he was in foul trouble early and Shea got points but not enough boards. He was pretty strong defensively though. The Mustang bench is very shallow and a couple of players seemed to be really nervous which led to turnovers and missed assignments defensively.

WNMU was able to rebound well and had a positive assist to turnover ratio for the first time this season. They hit 77% from the charity stripe which will help them win games that are close. Going to the high screen and roll in the second really opened things up for WNMU and sparked the rally that brought them back from 19 pts down.

It’s a loss and that’s not what we’re here for but WNMU seemed to play more as a unit and with an energy throughout the game that will make them competitive. The key now is to get the win in a close game and not just settle for being in the game. I know that Scott and Castrillo were not happy, despite having very good games. If Castrillo keeps playing with the confidence he showed last night, WNMU will win some games this year.

Mustangs at Orediggers

February 23rd, 2013 No comments

Coach Coleman said last weekend that getting to eleven wins in conference should get us into the playoffs; that allowed for a split on the road and while there are no easy games and getting a sweep was realistic, you had to expect WNMU could pull out the win last night at Christian. YOu also wanted to see Mines have a tough time against Highlands. Neither happened. So WNMU will have to turn around quickly and recover from a flat 2nd half performance, mostly defensively and on the boards to take on a Mines team that dominated NMHU and is flying high.

The last time these two teams met in Golden WNMU handed Mines their first loss of the season 97-93 and it was a wild and exciting affair. Chad had 24 points on the night, 16 in the second half as he only missed one shot. Earlier this season WNMU got the win over Mines in Silver City 77-66 essentially controling all aspects of the game. We didn’t win the rebounding battle but it was 41-39 so that is a wash. We had 19 assists to only 12 turnovers while limiting CSM to only 9 assists and forcing 15 turnovers to go along with 6 steals.

Juan Saurez led the way with 23 points, 9 assists against 5 turnovers; he got great dribble penetration hitting 6-12 overall and 9-10 from the free throw line. Brelan Berry was the recipient of several assists from Suarez as he was 6-10 for 13 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Te Branch added 12 points to go along with 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Chad had 11 points to go along with 8 boards. It was the kind of performance we thought we’d see more often offensively. We can certainly do it again tonight.

Mines is a different team; when they came to Silver they were early in the season and learning to play without one of their top players as he injured a knee just before the season started. They are scoring about 71 points a game while giving up 74 but their offense is somewhat inconsistent. They scored 90 last night but have been held in the low 60s or even in the 50s several times.

Trevor Wages is the force inside; the 6-9 Jr post player hits 54% of his shots scoring just under 16 a game and grabs 9.6 boards a game. He’s not very good from the line, 62% and doesn’t shoot outside. He only took 5 shots in the first game and got 5 points. Brelan, Chad, Darryl and Te all frustrated him and the guards dug down nicely keeping him from getting in a rhythm. But now he’s got 20 double/doubles on the season and he’ll be looking to get revenge.

The leading scorer for Mines is Luke Meisch, a 6-6 Jr F who likes to play facing the basket. He’s getting 17 a game shooting almost 50% and 40% from deep. He also grabs 8 boards a game and has picked up his scoring as the season goes on. He was 3-10 including 0-4 from downtown in the first game as WNMU frustrated him and kept him out of rhythm.

The third head of the scoring threat for the Orediggers is Brian Muller, 6-5 So G, is continuing to build on a solid freshman season getting 16 a game but only shoots 36% from the floor; 30% from downtown; he’ll put it up quickly and often. He was the big guy in the first contest with 22 points on 8-19 shooting. He can get hot from downtown but was only 3-10 in the first game.

Mines will play a bit slower but can push the ball off of a miss and will, like WNMU look for quick, easy baskets trying to put together runs that can kill the opponents and put games away early. They are long and athletic and a better team that what we saw in December but they are still inconsistent. However, they are at home where they are 10-2 so the Mustangs will have their work cut out for them.

Mustangs at Colorado Christian

February 22nd, 2013 No comments

When you looked at the schedule early this season and saw this game, you figured it would be a playoff contender, WNMU, versus a cellar dwellar; not much of a contest and you’d be thinking tomorrow night’s game at Mines would be much more important. Little did we know Christian would still be in playoff contention and Western is fighting for a playoff spot with any number of teams still in contention for the playoffs including Christian. AND Christian is playing as well as almost anyone in the RMAC right now.

Christian has won 6 of their last 9 games including an impressive road win over Adams State followed by wins at home over Colorado Mesa and Western State. But that also includes a loss to Chadron State albeit on the road. WNMU, despite the disappointing performance against Colorado Mesa at home last Saturday is similarly playing well at the right time. OVer the same period, the Mustangs are also 6 of 9 and have wins over FLC and ASU and a close loss to Highlands; but we have that dismal performance against Pueblo a forty point loss.

When these two teams met in Silver City on 12/1, the Stangs came out with a 72-63 win at a time when Christian was then 5-5, 0-2 in RMAC play and WNMU moved to 3-3 and 2-0 in the RMAC. Now CCU is 7-12 and the Mustangs are 9-10 in RMAC play. At the time WNMU’s defense was playing very well; in fact it was #1 in the RMAC; that’s changed a bit.

But back in the first game Western held CCU to just 29% from the floor; created 18 turnovers to go along with 10 steals but did get out rebounded 41-33 and we gave up 15 offensive boards. Kyle Weaver led the way in scoring with 21 points but was only 4-15 overall; he hit 12-12 from the charity stripe. Michael Weaver shot similarly poorly but hit 4 of 5 from the line to tally 14 points.

For the Stangs Chad got 19, Suarez 15, Brelan 10 and Te 9. The Stangs shot 44% from the field and moved the ball well. But as I said it was our defense that frustrated the shots put up by CCU; they were off balance, always challenged and the rotation was very good.

Both teams come into tonight’s game scoring about 70 pts a game while hitting about 41% of their shots; CCU is a bit better from downtown with a 35% succes rate to WNMU’s 33% but in both cases CCU has taken a lot more shots 200 more from inside the arc and 80 more from downtown. They’ve also gotten 110 more shots, roughly, than WNMU at the line. The play up tempo and get quick shots; they’ll look to push it up the floor which Western will like as well but they draw the fouls a bit better than we do.

Christian only gives up about 71 or 72 a game while WNMU is giving up 75 a game this year. Neither team is a good rebounding team as CCU is -.7 per game far better than Western’s -7.7 per game. You know what that means; we have to do a good job tonight with the rebounding.

Michael Brown, Kyle Weaver and Avery Redmond lead the way in scoring at 12, 12 and 11 a piece per game. That will put more pressure on the Mustang defense to play well. Christian is a tough, physical team similar to Colorado Mesa; which could give us trouble if we back down. It’s important to get off to a good start tonight and keep the pressure on both offensively and defensively.

More tonight in the tip off show…