Down to the wire.

Every bucket counted on Friday for the Colorado Mesa University (CMU) Men’s Basketball team against Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) rival, the Black Hills State Yellow Jackets.

It came down to the last minute and took an extra period of play for CMU to seal the evident and close 68-67 win against Black Hills State University (BHSU).

Trent Clay ended up being the unlikely hero in Friday’s thriller as the 6’4’’ Junior guard sent the game to overtime with a wide three pointer after missing his own free throw with two seconds to go in the second half.  

Clay, who is a transfer from BHSU, scored 11 points in the win on Friday, but the game-tying three-pointer was the biggest bucket of the season for the Mavericks, as it helped get them out of the slump they have experienced in the last month.

Ryne Dutcher | The Criterion

The first half, defensively, was the best the Mavericks played in the last two weeks, as CMU held the Yellow Jackets to only 23 points and a 34.5 field goal percentage.  

CMU would not perform much better on the scoreboard, but did go into halftime with the 28-23 lead.

The second half would belong to Yellow Jackets as they bounced back to shoot 46.2 percent from the floor as well as going on a 17-5 run to take the lead. BHSU hoped to run with it as they ended up racking 36 points on the board to make up for the first half slumber.

For the Mavericks, Connor Nichols continued his scoring ways, as the 6’6’’ Junior produced 23 points in the 38 minutes he played in order to keep CMU in the game. Only three other Mavericks scored in double digits; however, solid defense helped with nine steals and keeping BHSU to shooting 9-29 behind the arc.  

CMU would hold off the Yellow Jackets in a close overtime to seal the eventual 68-67 win. The Mavericks improve to 9-11 on the season and will look to get their first consecutive win since Nov. 28 when they take on South Dakota School of Mines on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

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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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