It was a hard second half for the Western New Mexico University women's basketball team Friday night, as Western State Colorado University came back from a 12-point deficit to pull out the 58-57 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference victory.
Western New Mexico University (WNMU) had a great start with three consecutive three-pointers made by seniors Morgan Wohltman (Queen Creek, AZ/Highland High School), two, and Kassie Scott (El Paso, TX/Coronado High School). Western State Colorado University (WSCU) tallied their first points from Desiree Smith four minutes in leaving WNMU ahead, 9-2. WNMU (4-18, 3-15 RMAC) kept a good lead on WSCU (3-19, 3-15 RMAC) all throughout the first half. The largest lead throughout the game was 23-11 with nine minutes to play. Ending the first half the Lady Mustangs had a six-point lead at 30-24.
Going into the second half, WNMU senior Heather Hamilton (Ely, NV/White Pine High School) fired up a jumper to bring the score to 32-24. She got fouled in the process and made her ensuing free throw. Hamilton followed that effort with a three-pointer from the top-of-the-key to bring the score to 36-26. WSCU would then hold WNMU to just two points within a span of six minutes, while putting up 11 of their own points. With 12 minutes to play, WSCU snagged the lead for the first time in the game with a three-pointer made by Charmayne Bellamy which brought the score to 39-38.
The scoreboard was back-and-forth for the remainder of the game. The last two minutes of the game, the Mountaineers held a 58-55 advantage. Scott got fouled and made both of her foul shots to bring the Lady Mustangs to within a point, 58-57, with 1:30 left in the contest. The teams would miss chances over the next minute-plus leaving WNMU with the final opportunity. With 11 seconds to play, WNMU had the ball, but as they looked to setup a play, WSCU was able to stop the drive and eventually the buzzer sounded with no shot being taken giving WSCU the tight one-point win.
Wohltman led the Lady Mustangs and all-scorers going for 18 points. Jelesia Gray (Sierra Vista, AZ/Buena High School) had a solid night going for a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. WSCU was led by 12 from Bellamy, as she made 4 three-pointers. WNMU shot 38 percent (19-50) from the field, while WSCU made 19-of-57 (33.3). Each team made 7 three-pointers and WSCU made one more foul shout, 13-12.
WNMU will remain home Saturday night when they will host No. 4 Colorado Mesa University with game time set for 5:30 p.m. inside Drag's Court. Colorado Mesa defeated New Mexico Highlands, 92-53, Friday night.