The women’s basketball team is running hot right now, and that is due in large part to the play of their leading scorer Jaylyn Duran.

Last season, Duran began to play a much larger role with the team as the season began to wind down. She ended up starting in 15 of the 28 games and averaged 8.6 points and 22.5 minutes per game.

To begin this season, Duran has stepped up her game to another level. She leads the Mavericks in scoring, averaging 14.1 points per game on 41 percent shooting from three-point range. Over the summer, Duran put in a lot of work in the areas that Head coach Taylor Wagner noticed she needed improvement.

“I talked to coach at the exit meeting last year and he said that I needed to work on this-this and this,” Duran said. “So, I really focused on that and my conditioning. We play [over 30] minutes a game so you have to be in shape.”

Currently, Duran is the player that Wagner trusts to leave out on the court the longest. Duran is averaging nearly 32 minutes per game through the team’s first eight games.

“It gets hard, but you just have to have the mental push [to get] through it,” Duran said regarding being out on the court for extended periods of time.

Ryne Dutcher | The Criterion

Her leadership on the court has helped the team run off eight straight victories, as well as climb up to share the top spot in the RMAC to open-up the season.

However, Duran’s successful basketball career did not start here at Colorado Mesa University. Growing up, Duran was born into an athletic family built around sports.

“My parents played in high school and everything and my whole family has just been revolved around sports,” Duran said. “I was kind of forced into it a little bit but I ended up loving it and played it ever since.”

Even her 17-year-old younger brother has also embraced playing basketball within the family. The competition level between the two of them gets closer every time the two of them face off against each other.

“I like to say I beat him, but he is getting better and better every time that I see him,” Duran said.

Duran grew up in Pueblo, Colo. where she attended Pueblo South High School. While there, she started all four years on the varsity basketball squad. During her tenure, she helped lead her team to four straight final four appearances, including a state championship her sophomore year.

Having played for a successful program for those four years, Duran was looking for another successful collegiate program to further her basketball career.

“The opportunity,” Duran said about her reason to attend CMU. “They have a very good program, both school and sports.”

Off the court, Duran is currently pursuing a degree in kinesiology education. She hopes to work her way into teaching a coaching, while also adding some athletic training knowledge to her arsenal.

But before that, she just hopes to help continue to lead this team to be the best it can possibly be during her time here.

“Having a successful season and really just winning games,” Duran said is her goal.

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Bryce Reedy

Bryce Reedy is a mass communication major with a minor in sports management. Reedy began his newspaper career with The Criterion back in 2014 as a writer. Reedy worked his way up to sports editor, then managing and finally editor in chief for the 2016-17 year before deciding that he wanted to return to his roots as the sports editor for his senior year.

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