by Michael Rowse
The Western New Mexico University Lady Mustangs basketball team was able to keep control of the lead late in Saturday night's game against the Adams State University Grizzlies to come away with the 65-59 victory in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference action, sweeping the season series. Senior Morgan Wohtlman jump started the score board with a three-pointer 13 seconds into the game. The first eight minutes of the game were clutch, with Western New Mexico University (WNMU) and Adams State University (ASU) keeping within two-points or less of each other.
With the score tied at 15 with 11 minutes left to play in the first half, the Lady Mustangs (4-17, 3-14 RMAC) had a rapid eight-point streak on ASU (8-11, 5-11 RMAC). Wohltman scored another three-pointer, which was followed by a layup from senior Jelesia Gray (Sierra Vista, AZ/Buena High School). Sophomore Desiree Young (North Ogden, UT/Weber High School) made a layup with nine minutes to play and got fouled in the process by Adam's Keyonda White. Young made her free throw to bring the score to 23-15.
ASU trimmed just three points off the lead leaving WNMU in front at the break, 29-24. Going into the beginning of the second half, Adams State kept their run going, eventually tying the game at 37 with 13:27 to go in the contest. The Lady Grizzlies even snatched the lead with 10 minutes left to play with a score of 45-41. WNMU bounced back after being down by four with a layup made by senior Kassie Scott (El Paso, TX/Coronado High School). Following her was a three-pointer by junior Kim Clark (Santee, CA/West Hills High School) to bring WNMU back to the lead at 46-45. Adams' Kelly Hernandez responded back with a jumper, but Scott returned the favor following with a jumper as well.
The Lady Mustangs regained the lead on a jumper by senior Heather Hamilton (Ely, NV/White Pine High School) with eight minutes to play and never looked back, as her bucket ignited a 12-2 run and subsequent 60-51 lead with just a minute to play. WNMU maintained the lead for the final minute for the 65-59 victory.
Gray led WNMU with 18 points, while Wohltman added 16 and Scott with 13. Adams' Ann Pauly led all scorers with 22, connecting on six three-pointers. Both teams shot nearly the same, with ASU making 46.9 percent (23-49), while WNMU made 25-of-54 (46.3). ASU made seven three-pointers to five for WNMU, while WNMU held a 10-6 edge in free throws.
The Lady Mustangs return home this coming Friday when they will host Western State Colorado University. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m. inside Drag's Court.