by Michael Rowse
The Western New Mexico University women's basketball team had the difficult task of battling conference powerhouse Metro State University Denver Saturday night with the Roadrunners racing past the Lady Mustangs, 85-37, in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference action.
Metro State University Denver (MSUD) scored the first six points of the game before Heather Hamilton got Western New Mexico University (WNMU) on the board with a layup three minutes in. A layup by Morgan Wohltman a couple of minutes later had WNMU (1-11, 0-8 RMAC) within five, 9-4, before MSUD (8-4, 6-1 RMAC) reeled off a 10-0 run to open a 19-4 lead near the midway point of the first half.
The Lady Mustangs would trim the deficit down to 11 on a number of occasions, with the last coming at the 5:20 mark on a layup by Larissa Loera.
After that, the Roadrunners closed the half outscoring WNMU by 13 to take a 42-18 lead into the locker room.
WNMU scored the first points of the second half on a jumper by Jelesia Gray, when MSUD would again catch fire scoring the next seven points. WNMU tallied a late spurt in the half, pulling off an 8-2 run with Cassie Arias and Kassie Scott each hitting three-pointers and a jumper in-between by Gray.
Three Lady Mustangs scored six points apiece in Heather Hamilton, Gray and Scott. Veronica Celaya tallied five points and a team-high six rebounds off the bench, while Arias also added five points off the bench. MSUD's Emily Wood tallied 23 points to lead all-scorers, as the Roadrunners had four players in double-figures.
The Roadrunners shot 60.4 (32-53) percent from the field, while holding WNMU to a 28 percent (14-50) clip. MSUD also led in three-pointers made (8-3) and free throws made (13-6).
WNMU will remain on the road as they will travel to Alamosa, Colo., next Friday to battle Adams State University with game time set for 5:30 p.m.