After wins against MSU Denver and UCCS, the Colorado Mesa University (CMU) women’s basketball team sits tied in third in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) standings, having matching 9-4 records with MSU Denver and Black Hills State University.

CSU-Pueblo sits in first with an 11-2 record, followed by Fort Lewis at 10-4.

CMU currently sits at fourth in the RMAC standings with a conference record of 9-4 behind Black Hills State who has the same record.

Contributing heavily to the the Mavericks success has been Erin Reichle. She leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.6 points per game (ppg). Reichle is also looking to set a record for most three-pointers in program history after tying the already existing mark during the win against UCCS on Saturday.

Matt Kennedy | The Criterion

Jaylyn Duran and Ma’ata Epenisa are also averaging double figures in scoring. Duran sits at 15.4 ppg on the season, leading the team in three-pointers at 64, while Epenisa is averaging 10.6 ppg, 5.4 rebounds, and a team high 17 blocks.

Reichle and Duran sit in the top three in ppg in the RMAC, while ranking first and second in three-pointers made

The Mavericks’ ferocious defense was able to starve off UCCS on Saturday in the 54-46 win. The Mountain Lions were the victor of three straight, before Saturday’s lost, including a win over first place CSU-Pueblo.

While the Mavericks have had their struggles at times shooting the ball this season, defense has been a consistent component.

CMU has limited their opponents to 53.2 points per game, good for second in the RMAC behind Black Hill State’s 50.2 ppg. Those two will meet on Jan. 26 in what should be a defensive battle. The Mavericks have limited opponents to 33.5 percent shooting from the floor, and 24.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Communication on the defensive end has been helping the team tremendously as they fight their way through RMAC play.

“I thought we played really well and very together. We shared the ball a lot and defensively we played as a complete unit,” Erin Reichle said after the win over MSU Denver.

Either Head coach Taylor Wagner has been using halftime to deliver fantastic speeches or the team is anxious to get back out there, because whatever it is, it’s working. The Mavericks are outscoring their opponents by a wide margin in the third quarter this season, outscoring the field 362-252. That type of third quarter play is giving CMU comfortable leads heading into the fourth quarter.

The recent surge has propelled the Mavericks to a top spot in the RMAC standings. The team will continue to be tested as they play their way through the conference schedule.

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Josue Perez is a junior mass communication student. He is from Montrose, Colorado. He began writing on staff for The Criterion in the fall of 2017 and will be assistant sports editor in the spring. He has a passion for sports and wishes to pursue a career in sports journalism.

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