Grizzies defeat Western to claim fourth straight win
by Chris Day
GUNNISON, Colo.ó The Adams State College Grizzlies used a big 12-2 run to pull away from arch-rival Western State as they won their fourth straight game, pulling within just a half-game of the lead in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference West Division menís basketball standings. The Grizzliesí 64-51 win over the Mountaineers on Friday night in the Paul W. Wright Gymnasium allowed them to remain perfect in intra-divisional play and was the teamís fifth win in the last six games.
The Grizzlies, now 8-10 overall and 7-4 in RMAC action, had three players in double figures, including senior forward Roman Moniak (Sacramento, Calif.), who led the squad with 16 points. Junior guard Marcus Mortensen (Cortez, Colo.) scored 14 points on a 6 Ėfor-8 shooting effort while grabbing a game-high seven rebounds. He also led the team with four assists.
Wes Jensen (Molalla, Ore.) added another 13 points in the victory.
The Grizzly defense was stellar holding the Mountaineers to a 35.1 (20-57) shooting percentage. The Mountaineers, who dropped to 8-11 overall and to 3-8 in conference play with their sixth straight loss, did not have a double-figure scorer for the first time this season.
Lorens Knudsen had nine points, all from 3-point land, to pace 10 different Mountaineer scorers.
Leading just 29-26 at the half and by just one point (29-28), 1:18 into the second, the Grizzlies went on their big tear over the next five minutes to build their lead to double figures.
That lead grew to as many as 15 points with 7:54 to go before the Mountaineers closed to within six on a Steve Barrow crowd-pleasing dunk followed by a Krys Hall 3-pointer.
After trading two Moniak free throws for a Josh Anfang bucket, the Grizzlies went on another 7-0 spurt to put the game away.
The Grizzlies shot 47.8 percent (22-46) from the field and also dominated the rebounding game 38-25. Jensen hit 3 of 7 long-distance calls leading the Grizzlies to a 6-for-18 (33.3 percent) effort from beyond the arc. They were also a solid 14 of 18 (77.8 percent) from the free throw line.
The Grizzlies were coming off an 80-76 Tuesday night win at Colorado State-Pueblo, the teamís first road win over the ThunderWolves in their NCAA Division II (1992-93/Present) era. CSU-Pueblo, also 7-4 in RMAC play, blasted the Mountaineers 71-42 on Thursday night.
Both teams are just a half-game behind West Division-leading Mesa State, which slipped to 7-3 in RMAC play with a Thursday night loss at New Mexico Highlands. The Grizzlies and ThunderWolves are a half-game ahead of 6-3 Fort Lewis, which fell at Western New Mexico on Thursday.
The Grizzlies will continue a 4-game road-swing next weekend against those teams facing Fort Lewis on Friday, Feb. 2 and Mesa State a night later. Both games will tip-off at 8 p.m. can be hear on KSPK-FM (103.5 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.