CHADRON – Senior guard Jaylyn Duran poured in a career-high 32 points Sunday afternoon while leading the Colorado Mesa women’s basketball team to a 70-53 victory over Chadron State in a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest in the Chicoine Center.
Already the top scorer in the conference, Duran also tallied 30 points during a 68-63 win over Metro State in Denver on Saturday night. The 5-foot-7 Pueblo, Colo., native is now averaging 24.2 points while leading her team to a 9-1 season record and a perfect 5-0 RMAC mark.
The Eagles also had some bright spots, playing much better than they had the night before against Western Colorado and trailing by just four points early in the fourth quarter.
“We showed up today, didn’t freak out and executed our offense much better,” Chadron State Coach Janet Raymer said. “We kept fighting and made a game of it.”
Mesa bolted to a quick 9-0 lead and was ahead 20-10 at the end of the first period, but both teams scored 17 points in the second quarter.
While the Mavericks were 16 of 31 from the field compared to CSC’s five of 22 in the first half, the Eagles had “hung around” by making 15 of 16 free throws. Mesa was just two of five from the line at intermission.
The Eagles perked up even more in the third frame, sinking seven of nine field goal shots and cutting Mesa’s lead to 46-43 with two minutes remaining in the quarter on a three-pointer by Jessica Harvey, CSC’s leading scorer, with 18 points.
Unfortunately, the Eagles’ red-hot free throw shooting in the first half did not carry over into the third period. They made just two of eight at the charity strip in frame.
After the teams traded baskets to open the fourth quarter, neither team scored again for more than three minutes. Mesa finally broke the ice and owned a double-digit lead the final 4:17. While Duran netted just one field goal in the fourth, she was seven of eight at the free throw line to help her team seal the victory.
Duran finished 10 of 25 from the field, including four of 14 from three-point range, and eight of nine at the charity strip. Mesa’s only other double-figure scorer was senior Karina Brandon with 10. The Mavs were 27 of 58 on field goal shots, including seven of 25 from behind the arc.
Three players did most of the Eagles’ scoring. Besides Harvey’s 18 points, freshman center Angelique Gall added 11 and junior McKenna McClintic 10. The hosts were just 14 of 43 from the field, but Harvey was three of four and McClintic two of three from long range to tack on some bonus points.
CSC’s leading scorer for the season, sophomore Taryn Foxen, suffered a thumb injury in Saturday’s game and scored just four points against Mesa.
The fact the Eagles limited their turnover to 18 after committing 34 in the previous game was a bright spot as they begin the holiday break. Now 1-9, they’ll take on Colorado State at Fort Collins on Saturday, Dec. 29 before returning to their RMAC schedule.