A new season doesn’t always bring new habits, as it was evident over the weekend for the Colorado Mesa University men’s basketball team.  

Two games in two days ended in heartbreaking losses for the Mavericks as both St. Edwards University (SEU) and Dallas Baptist University (DBU) managed to run the floor with CMU. SEU would take down the Mavericks in overtime on Friday 100-92. Then on Saturday DBU would walk away unscathed on the weekend with the 86-62 victory.

“We’ve got some good players,” Head coach Andy Shantz said. “Sad to say these two games didn’t work the way we wanted them to but that’s why we play these tough tournaments to get ready for the conference games.”

Friday night was an exciting way to start the season at home but the end result is not how CMU wanted to finish their home opener. SEU came into Brownson and started the game running. They led the Mavericks going into halftime up 45-32.  

CMU struggled to score points in the first half as the Mavericks only completed 36.7 percent of field goals in the first half. The Hilltoppers also controlled the boards in the first half with 26 rebounds to the Mavericks’ 17.

The second half was when the Mavericks finally showed some offensive skill.

The Mavericks would outscore the Hilltoppers 47-34 in the second half and make a not-so-close game into a nail-biter.

Connor Nichols would score 13 points in the second half as CMU was able to storm back in and gain the lead with 53 seconds left in the game.

SEU, however, kept enough points on the scoreboard to force a tie game within the last minute of the game to have regulation end with an even score of 79-79.  

The last-ditch effort by the Hilltoppers was enough to put SEU over CMU in overtime to get the 100-92 win.

CMU finished with five different players scoring in double digits on Friday lead by Connor Nichols who put up 27 points and five assists. Recent transfer Emilio Acedo scored 15 points and had two steals against the Hilltoppers as well.

Landon Goesling led the Hilltoppers in scoring by putting up 25 points and having four assists.

Saturday night was not much better for CMU. DBU would visit Brownson Arena and make themselves feel right at home at the Patriots would have their way with CMU.

The first half was dead even as it was a 33-33 deadlock midway through the night. Unlike the night before, the Mavericks would shut down from that point forward.

Matt Kennedy | The Criterion

Boy Van Vliet would score 19 points in the second half for the Patriots. Van Vliet finished the night shooting 13-18 with 30 points and three assists.

“Offensively [Dallas Baptist] did a good job at getting us out of our motion offensive,” Shantz said. “It was the first time we played a pressure team all year.”

Acedo would lead the scoring for the Mavericks with 18 points and three steals. Nichols would follow suit with 15 points of his own.

“He is a very talented offensive player,” Shantz said. “Probably our best all around offensive player.”

The rest of the offense was nonexistent for the Mavericks as the Patriots would go on to win the game by double digits. The loss marks the second straight year the Mavericks start the season 0-2.

CMU will look to get their first win of the season at the Western State Tournament in Gunnison, Colo. The Mavericks will play Midwestern State on Nov. 17 and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on Nov. 18.

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Matt Kennedy
Matt Kennedy is a sophomore mass communication major from Colorado Springs. He is in his second year with The Criterion, has served as the assistant sports editor and is now sports editor. Kennedy went to Doherty High School where he wrote for his school paper for three years and he aspires to continue in the sports journalism field after graduation to pursue a career as a sportscaster.

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