In a battle against two of the top defensive teams in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC), Black Hills State University (BHSU) defeated Colorado Mesa University (CMU) in a fourth quarter thriller by a final score of 56-53.

The Mavericks came into the game on a good run, winning four straight to climb into fourth in the RMAC standings. The Yellowjackets came into Brownson with a 15-4 record, and the best offense and defense statistically in the RMAC, ranking first in both points scored and points allowed.

BHSU is averaging 69.6 points per game and allowing 50.5 point per game.

The game was tight throughout with both teams battling it out for a lead through the first three quarters. The score was 37-35 in favor of the Mavericks heading into the fourth quarter, where the true fireworks went off.

Bryce Reedy | The Criterion

The Mavericks started the fourth steady, keeping the Yellow Jackets at bay and leading 49-41 with 5:43 left in the quarter. A couple of timely three-pointers from Julia Seamons and Rachel Erickson put BHSU up 51-49 with 2:03 left in the game. BHSU outscored CMU 21-16 in the fourth.

Jaylyn Duran led CMU with 19 points, adding 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block. Ma’ata Epenisa chipped in 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. CMU struggled from three-point range, shooting 29.6 percent (8-27).

Seamons had 16 points and 6 rebounds in the win. BHSU outrebounded CMU handily 44-30, moving the Mavericks to 4-5 when they are outrebounded, compared to 10-0 when they out rebound their opponent. Both teams were held under 40 percent shooting, putting their defensive capabilities on display.

CMU (15-5, 9-5) will host South Dakota Mines on Jan. 27 at 5:30 p.m.

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Josue Perez is a junior mass communication student. He is from Montrose, Colorado. He began writing on staff for The Criterion in the fall of 2017 and will be assistant sports editor in the spring. He has a passion for sports and wishes to pursue a career in sports journalism.

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