GOLDEN – Colorado School of Mines' women's basketball team took down Western New Mexico 69-57 in a clash of defenses Saturday at Lockridge Arena, guaranteeing its second straight trip the RMAC Shootout postseason tournament.
With their eighth straight win in the series, the Orediggers (15-12 overall) remained tied with Colorado Christian (15-10), which defeated N.M. Highlands 103-86 tonight, for sixth place in the conference standings at 12-9 with next Saturday's Senior Day contest in Golden deciding the sixth and seventh seeds in the field.
Despite only 32.8 percent (21-of-64) shooting, Mines had four players in double figures for the second straight night and sixth time this year.
Senior Angie Charchalis moved seven points away from tying former teammate Emily Dalton (2006-10) for second on the career scoring list at 1,403 points with a team-high 15 on 5-of-10 shooting. The conference leader in three-pointers, Charchalis extended her streak of consecutive games with a make from outside the arc to 25 in a row, drilling a game-high 4-of-7 looks.
Sophomore Danielle Skinner collected 12 points off the bench, going 3-of-4 overall, 2-of-3 on threes and 4-of-4 on free throws as Mines finished with a 18-to-5 advantage in bench scoring.
Classmate Taylor Helbig had 11 points and four rebounds, her 12th straight game of double digits and 20th over her last 21 outings, while junior Courtney Gallo contributed 10 with three assists and one steal.
The junior frontcourt duo of Allie Grazulis and Tory Langas combined for 21 rebounds and 15 points as Grazulis ended with 14 and eight, her conference-leading 15th effort of 10 or more boards and fifth straight, and Langas tallied seven and seven.
Grazulis also led the team with two blocks, shared the team lead with three assists and had one takeaway. She remains the only RMAC player to average a double-double on the season, ranking first in rebounding (10.2 per game) and 23rd in scoring (10.7 points per game).
Down 7-5 3:45 into the game, Mines went on a 24-to-6 run that encompassed 8:12 on the clock for an 18-point advantage, before entering the break leading 36-20.
The women extended the lead to 44-22 at the 15:28 mark of the second on an old-fashioned three-point play by Charchalis and twice posted 22-point margins in the ensuing 4:37, the latter on a lay-in on the left side by Skinner off a feed from Grazulis with 10:51 remaining.
After 8-of-26 (22.2 percent) shooting in the first, the Mustangs (4-21, 3-18 RMAC) hit 43.8 percent (14-of-32) in the second, outscoring Mines by four, but drew no closer than 10 points the rest of the evening.
Eight of nine Orediggers were successful from the floor Saturday and seven of the players converted at the charity stripe as Mines boasted a 10-point advantage in free throws, sinking 18-of-20 (90.0 percent), including 11-of-12 (91.7 percent) in the second half.
Only five players made it into the scoring column for WNMU, led by Morgan Wohltman with 25 points and Jelesia Gray with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Mines and Colorado Christian tip at 5 p.m. next Saturday, March 2.