Pape heroics lift Orediggers to 59-58 thriller over Grizzlies
GOLDEN, Colo.ó Kyle Pape had just nine points on the night, far from the game-high of 14, shared by Adams State Collegeís Wes Jensen (Molalla, Ore.) and Colorado School of Minesí Ian Elseth. But it was Papeís final two points that became the biggest two points of the night for the sophomore guard. That jumper, a last-second bucket at the buzzer, lifted the CSM Orediggers to a 59-58 win over the visiting Grizzlies Saturday night in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference action.
The win lifts CSM to 8-6 overall and 3-4 in RMAC play, while ASC dropped to 4-10 overall and 3-4 in the conference. Saturdayís tightly contested match-up concludes the inter-divisional portion of the conference schedule for both squads.
It was a fierce contest throughout the night, as neither team could build much of a lead through the first half. The Grizzlies managed a 4-point lead early in the half before CSM reversed that into a 5-point advantage at the 11:05 mark. The two teams then traded baskets for the next seven minutes before back-to-back buckets by Grizzly senior David Hull (Belen, N.M.) gave ASC a brief lead late in the half.
The Grizzlies hung on to that lead and looked to be heading into the locker room with a slim 1-point advantage until Pape stuck a lay-up through the net with four seconds showing on the clock, giving the Orediggers the momentum and the 26-25 lead going into the break.
However, the Grizzlies turned that around early in the second period, as back-to-back 3-pointers from Jensen gave ASC a 34-27 edge with 17:14 left to play. After the Orediggers scrapped their way back to within two, the Grizzlies then went on a 10-0 run to go up 49-37 with under ten minutes left to play.
ASC spread the ball around during that scoring spree, getting baskets from four different players, including point guards Marcus Mortensen (Cortez, Colo.) and Larry Charles, Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.). Roman Moniak (Sacramento, Calif.) also added a lay-up and an assist.
The shooting touch then went cold for head coach Larry Mortensenís squad, as the Grizzlies made just three of their final eight shots, misfiring on three lay-ups in the process. That allowed the Orediggers to clamber back into contention, aided by several offensive rebounds and second-chance points.
CSM, down by eight with 1:40 left to play, put on a brilliant situational clinic, converting on offensive possessions and limiting the Grizzlies to just one shot per possession. Still down by one with 39 seconds left to play, the Orediggers rebounded a missed Grizzly lay-up and took the ball all the way to the 6-second mark before calling a pair of time-outs to set up a last-second play. Pape then converted, sinking the buzzer-beater and lifting the Orediggers to the home court thriller.
CSMís Franklin Ryk and Ben Mohr scored 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Orediggers, while Moniak and Hull each tallied 13 for the Grizzlies. Hull was a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, while Moniak notched 6 of 7 on the night from the charity stripe. Charles, Jr. added six points and six boards from his point guard position.
The Grizzlies wonít have much time to dwell on the heart-breaker, as they host Western New Mexico and New Mexico Highlands next Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. Tip-off for both West Division match-ups is slated for 8 p.m. in ASCís Plachy Hall. Live action can also be heard on KSPK-FM, 103.5 in Alamosa or online at www.kspk.com.