Two top-10 nationally ranked teams and the top two teams in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. It was everything everyone had hoped it would be as it came down to the final minutes.
No. 7 Colorado Mesa outlasted No. 1 Colorado School of Mines 64-58 for its first win over a No. 1-ranked team in its NCAA Division II history.
The Mavericks fell behind early after going ice cold from the field. The Orediggers went on a 10-0 run to take a 19-6 lead midway through the first half of action. Freshman Christopher Speller buried a corner 3 to thwart the run and ignite a mini 7-0 run for the Mavericks to cut it to 19-13.
At the half, Colorado Mesa trailed 31-24.
After a seesaw first 10 minutes of the second half, Colorado Mesa took its first lead of the game since a 5-2 lead in the opening seconds at 49-48 after a layup by Ethan Menzies. The bucket by Menzies capped an 11-2 run.
The Orediggers retook the lead at 52-51 with 3:40 to play before the Mavericks knotted it back up at 54 a side with 2:52 to play after a made free throw by Georgie Dancer.
Colorado Mesa outscored Mines 10-4 in the final 2:24 of the game with Ethan Menzies and Georgie Dancer each scoring four points down the stretch.
Dancer and Menzies tied for the game high with 17 points apiece. Freshman Christopher Speller added 13 points.
A couple of differences in the game came in 3-pointers made and free throws. The Mavericks were 5-of-11 from beyond the arc while the Orediggers were just 2-for-11. Colorado Mesa was 23-of-31 from the charity stripe while Mines was 12-for-18.
The Mavericks improve to 16-1 and has an unofficial RPI of 16.65 in terms of the RMAC standings while Colorado School of Mines drops to 13-1 on the season with an unofficial RPI of 16.23 after the loss.
Colorado Mesa will return home for the final two games of the regular season next weekend as it takes on Western Slope rivals Western Colorado and Fort Lewis in Brownson Arena.