We can do this. We can do this.

That was Colorado Mesa University women’s basketball guard Erin Reichle’s thought as she saw her team down 9-0 and 16-3 early in the first quarter. And she was right as the team pulled away from Colorado School of Mines Orediggers, 73-63, in the RMAC Shootout Quarterfinal.

“I knew we could do it,” Reichle said. “We came back in the second quarter and just played big.”

And big was the word to describe the play of freshmen Kim Childress and Tori Catlett, who helped start the Mavs run late in the first quarter and into the second quarter.  

“I think we brought the energy,” Catlett said. “We came out flat and that’s why they got that early lead. We brought the hustle plays and the girls fed off of it and everything started to flow.”

That energy Childress and Catlett brought was the 16-2 run that helped the team take a 22-18 lead. The Orediggers tried to keep up with the Mavs, but the team’s defense only allowed seven Mines points in the second quarter. At halftime, CMU had a double-digit lead, 35-25.

The Mavs increased their lead during the third quarter. The team was leading as much as 17 before going into the fourth quarter with a 50-41 lead.

The Orediggers were able to cut the lead to six points after an and-1 opportunity early in the fourth quarter. However, the Mavs found some breathing room midway through the fourth quarter after a 12-0 run to increase the lead, 67-48.

The 19 point lead was not safe though as the Orediggers cut the lead to seven with 21 seconds to go. However, the Mavs pulled away thanks to free throws from guard Sydney Small and Reichle.

Reichle had a team-high 21 points to go along with five assists. Guard Bryanna Adams had 15 points. Orediggers’ Emily Bailey had a game-high 23 points.

The team’s 21st win of the season helped them advance to the semifinals, where they will play against UCCS on Friday in Pueblo. The winner of that game will either play CSU-Pueblo or Regis.

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