At halftime Friday evening, the New Mexico Highlands women’s basketball team found itself down by just six points against the No. 2 ranked team in the nation.
On the road, no less.
But over the final 20 minutes, the game belonged to still-undefeated Colorado Mesa (22-0 overall, 18-0 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference). The Lady Mavericks outshot Highlands 52 percent to 28 percent in the second half to grab a 71-52 win in Grand Junction, Colo.
NMHU slipped to 10-12 and 6-12 heading into Saturday night’s game.
Sharaya Selsor made 12 of 13 free throws en route to a game-high 29 points for Mesa. Aubry Boehme added 12 for the Lady Mavs.
Guilia Simioni, who scored 10 off the bench, was the only double-digit scorer for the Cowgirls. Claudia Meneses had eight points and seven rebounds.
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Stuart Sullivan and Stargell Love both exceeded the 20-point threshold for New Mexico Highlands’ men, but that 20-20 effort wasn’t enough to see the Cowboys past Colorado Mesa on Friday night.
The host Mavericks won 97-80 and squared their overall record at 11-11 and their RMAC mark at 9-9.
The Cowboys led by seven late in the first half, but the Mavs made a charge to end the half — a 48-44 NMHU lead — and continued into the second half.
Sullivan led Highlands with 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Love was 7 for 9 from the floor, 7 of 10 at the foul line, in scoring 21; he also dished out seven assists. Mannie Cass chipped in 12 points and six rebounds.
Five players reached double figures for Mesa; Ryan Stephan snared a game-high 14 rebounds to go with 17 points.
NMHU is 10-12, 7-11.
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Junior Matthew Chavez extended his hitting streak to four games, but the New Mexico Highlands baseball team (2-2) lost its series opener at Eastern New Mexico (4-1) Friday night in Portales.
The series was to continue through Sunday.
The Cowboys won two of three last weekend against Lubbock Christian. After falling 18-8 in the opener, they won the nightcap 3-2 and then took an 18-6 triumph on Monday.
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NCAA Division I Air Force swept every match in a 41-0 wrestling dual victory over visiting New Mexico Highlands on Friday in Colorado Springs.
The Cowboys and head coach Doug Moses now prepare for the regional tournament Feb. 28.
In falling to Air Force, Highlands did put up a fight at several weight classes.
Cody Marquez lost 5-3 to Cody Davis in the heavyweight division.
Igor Gomzin (184 lbs.) also was two points shy, losing 3-1 to Devin High-tower.
Juan Alvarado (165) fell in a 4-1 verdict to Connor Hedash, and Jesse Martinez (157) lost 9-5 against Joseph Baucke.