Mesa, AZ- The Mesa Thunderbirds women's basketball opened its season, trying to defend its National Championship from a year ago, against the Salt Lake Bruins Saturday night at Theo Heap Gym. Unfornutaly, things didn't go Mesa's way as they fell 64-49 to the Bruins, who are currently ranked #10 in division one.
The T-Birds were trying to keep up the whole first half, falling behind by as 12 points.
Head Coach Kori Stephenson deployed a majority of her new freshman, one of them being Cherokee Davis(Fr., Ft. McDowell, AZ, Mountain View H.S.) who connected on two straight possesions for Mesa, one of them being a three pointer.
Mesa played stingy defence against the Bruins, forcing Salt Lake into deep shot clock situations but it was the offensive exucation that just wasn't there for Mesa as they went into halftime down 33-23.
Returning sophomores Kylie Herd(So., Phoenix, AZ, Arcadia H.S.) and Megan Gillespie(So., Phoenix, AZ, Arcadia H.S.) led the fight in the second, taking charge of the rebounds and getting Mesa back with two points mid way through the half. Gillespie finished with 11 points and eight rebounds, while Herd led Mesa in points with 12, with seven rebounds.
Though Mesa was able to trim the led down to two, they couldn't make that final push and the Bruins ended up pulling away at the end for 15 point victory.
Mesa will be home Wednesday, November 12th against the Angolan Junior National Team at Theo Heap Gym, tip off at 5:30 pm.