Chadron State led most of the way, but Colorado Mesa warmed up in the fourth period and came from behind to hand the Eagles a 64-63 heart-breaker in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference women’s basketball game in Chadron on Friday night.
The Mavericks were just 17-of-59 (29 percent) from the field through the first three periods and trailed the Eagles 50-46 entering the final frame. But led by senior guard Erin Reichle, Mesa sank seven of its 15 field goal tries in the fourth quarter, including four of eight three-point shots to pull out the victory.
Reichle, a 5-foot-6 senior, was only 3-of-15 from the field and 2-of-10 from three-point range entering the last quarter. But she kept on shooting, hit four of her eight shots from the field including three of six from behind the arc in the final frame to account for 11 of her season-high 25 points.
Another senior, six-foot Ma’ata Epenisa, added 15 points for Mesa, now 11-3 for the season and 5-3 in the RMAC. She was 7-of-9 from the field, including three consecutive layups in a 57-second stretch late in the third period to whittle Chadron State’s 47-37 lead down to four points.
There were more dramatics late in the game. The Eagles last lead was at 60-59 with 2:18 to play. Reichle initially nailed a long trey and teammate Karina Brandon hit a short jumper to put Mesa ahead 64-60. Chadron State’s Kalli Feddersen sank a three from the top of the key with 1:21 to play to close out the scoring.
Epenisa was called for an offensive foul with 61 seconds to play, giving Chadron State possession. But with the shot clock winding down, the Eagles were forced to attempt a tough layup that missed and Brandon claimed the rebound.
Chadron State tried to stop the clock by fouling, but no fouls had been called against the Eagles in the period. They committed four fouls in a 13-second stint, but Mesa still did not have to shoot free throws. CSC’s Letty Rodriguez finally forced a turnover with 5.7 seconds remaining near the Mesa basket.
After a time out, Chadron got the ball into Feddersen, who drove the length of the court in heavy traffic but did not shoot before the final buzzer sounded.
CSC coach Janet Raymer said her team’s biggest mistake may have been not counting down the time so Feddersen would have known she should try a desperation shot.
Freshman Taryn Foxen was CSC’s top scorer with 17 points, including three treys in five attempts. Feddersen finished with 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Kendra Baucom and Savannah Weidauer, who alternated at center, added 12 and 10 points, respectively, while combining to hit 9-of-12 shots from the field.
For the game, the Eagles shot 40 percent from the field compared to Mesa’s 32.4 percent. CSC also was 14 of 18 from the free throw line and the Mavericks only nine of 18. However, Mesa had just 10 turnovers and the Eagles 21.
Chadron State will hope for better fortune Saturday when it hosts Western State.
Score by quarters:
Colorado Mesa 10 17 19 18 —-64
Chadron State 16 17 17 13 —-63
Colorado Mesa—Erin Reichle 25, Ma’ata Espenisa 15, Jaylyn Duran 10, Tori Catlett 7, Katina Bandon 6, Katrina Chandler 1. Totals: 27-74 (7-33) 9-18 64 points, 42 rebounds, 10 turnovers.
Chadron State—Taryn Foxen 17, Kali Feddersen 15, Kendra Baucom 12, Savannah Weidauer 10, Jessica Harvey 5, Jessica Lovitt 2, Allee Williamson 2. Totals: 22-55 (5-13) 14-18 63 points, 45 rebounds, 21 turnovers.
3-pointers: Mesa—Reichle 5, Duran 2. CSC—Foxen 3, Feddersen 1, Harvey 1.