It is about time there is a turn around on the court for the Colorado Mesa University (CMU) Men’s Basketball team after their first set of back to back to wins since Nov. 24-25.  

The two consecutive wins against Black Hills State and South Dakota Mines proved there can be consistency and passion on the court when applied correctly.

Scoring and not losing leads has been a key factor to the Mavericks coming one game to reaching .500 after winning only two games since Dec. 9.   CMU won a close game in overtime against Black Hills State on Friday in a 68-67 victory in which a bench player in the form of Trent Clay, was the unlikely hero who sent the game to overtime allowing the Mavericks to seal the victory.  

On the scoring side, the reigns have been taken and carried by one Connor Nichols, who lead the Mavericks in scoring in both wins this past weekend. Nichols is averaging 18.2 points per game (ppg) and leads the team with overall points scored 383 points. Nichols combined for 44 total points over the weekend.

Bryce Reedy | The Criterion

Emilio Acedo also continues to be consistent on the floor and produce points for the Mavericks in which Acedo is second in scoring with 17.6 ppg and 369 points total.  

Acedo has also become the primary scorer for the Mavericks outside the arch as the junior college transfer leads the team with 55 three-pointers made in all of the 21 games he has played throughout the season.  

Nichols and Acedo have provided the on-court leadership that was questioned in the beginning of the season in which the Mavericks were left with only one senior in CJ Davis, who has performed rather well this year but still is lacking in scoring.  

“They have both been a big force this year,” Head coach Andy Shantz said. “We have just been trying to get better each week and they have been a big part of that process.” 

Other aspects of the Mavericks offense in which is providing key components to wins is the points in the paint.  CMU defeated South Dakota School of Mines on Saturday by scoring 42 points in the paint out of their total 77 points.

With the regular season winding down, the Mavericks find themselves ranked 12th in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) standing and with a little bit less than a month left until the RMAC tournament, CMU needs to continue their winning ways in order to be eligible for the tournament.  CMU missed out last year on the tournament and it would not be ideal for them to do it again for another consecutive year.

“We have to execute,” Andy Shantz said. 

CMU will try their luck against Western State on Jan. 30, who are also winners of their last two contests and sit one spot ahead of the Mavericks in the RMAC standings. 

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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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