Falcons hold on for last-second victory
ALAMOSA, Colo.ó The Adams State College menís basketball squad nearly overcame 21 turnovers and a quick, scrappy University of Texas-Permian Basin team before falling to the Falcons 78-75 in the waning seconds of Friday nightís season-opening Town & Country Cool Sunshine Classic. The Grizzlies, who trailed the Falcons for much of the second half, fought back from as much as a 10-point deficit with under six minutes left to play, but fell to 0-1 to open the 2006-07 season. UTPB, which is making the transition to the NCAA Division II ranks for the first time this season, started out that campaign with a bang, claiming the early 1-0 record.
The Grizzlies trailed for much of the second half, even finding themselves down by as much as 10 points with under six minutes left to play. They fought back from that deficit, however, eventually tying things up at 75 with 24 seconds showing on the clock when senior David Hull (Belen, N.M.) banked in a 3-pointer from the top of the key, giving the Grizzlies a chance to make a defensive stand and force overtime.
UTPB, however, wanted none of it as Nedrie Simmons sank a trey of his own from the left flank with 11 seconds to go. A closely-guarded 3-point attempt from Larry Charles, Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.) rattled off the rim, leaving the Falcons with the ball and the lead with just one second left in the game.
The Grizzlies were led by senior Roman Moniak (Sacramento, Calif.), who had 21 points and 10 rebounds. He was joined in double-figures by Hull, who had 17 points in his first extended court action since coming off a knee injury. Moniak was 9 of 18 from the floor, helping the Grizzlies to a 45.3 percent shooting effort on the night.
UTPB got 18 points from Simons, followed by Anwar Morganís 15 and Eric Hinojosí 12. Simmons was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line, while Hinojos was 3-for-4 long range.
The Grizzlies also committed 18 fourls, sending the Falcons to the charity stripe 18 times, of which they converted on 14. ASC was just 10 of 15 from the line.
The Grizzlies opened up a 6-point lead to start the game on back-to-back 3-point baskets from Marcus Mortensen (Cortez, Colo.) and Moniak. However, that lead would prove to be the largest of the night for the Grizzlies, as UTPB scrapped its way back in front on Simonsí first trey of the evening.
ASC managed to stay close, forging a pair of ties through the middle part of the first half before letting the Falcons build an 8-point advantage with 6:28 left in the half. ASC trimmed that led to four to end the period.
The Grizzlies then opened up the second half with a 5-1 mini-run, forcing yet another tie, this one coming at 42. The teams then traded points and leads throughout much of the half before UTPB went on a 14-6 run to build a 67-57 advantage.
Not about to give up, the Grizzlies edged their way back, getting a lay-up from Charles, Jr. and Hullís big bucket within a 15-second span. Simmons then took the ensuing inbounds pass to the left flank before sinking a deep 3-pointer for the game-winner.
The Grizzlies will now take on Dixie State (Utah) College tomorrow night. The Rebels fell 79-57 to Fort Lewis College in the first game of the night. UTPB and FLC will face off tomorrow night at 6 p.m. just prior to ASCís tournament finale.