Grizzlies eye West Division lead with 85-74 win
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Perhaps Larry Charles, Jr.’s (Tucson, Ariz.) with 2:12 left in Tuesday night’s win over the visiting Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolves said it best. The Adams State College Grizzlies are not going down easily. Charles, Jr. took a late fastbreak opportunity and threw down the one-handed jam in front of an admittedly bigger ThunderWolf front line, igniting both the Grizzly crowd and his teammates as ASC took a crucial 85-74 win to move within a half game of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference West Division lead.
The Grizzlies moved to 10-11 overall and 9-5 in the conference while CSU-Pueblo slipped to an even 11-11 overall and 7-7 in RMAC play.
ASC had five players in double figures, led by senior Roman Moniak (Sacramento, Calif.) and Rajshad Anderson (Lewisville, Texas), who each tallied 16 points. Junior point guard Marcus Mortensen (Cortez, Colo.) had 14 points, while Wes Jensen (Molalla, Ore.) and David Hull (Belen, N.M.) had 12 and 10, respectively.
The Grizzlies also had 21 assists as a team while turning the ball over just seven times and forcing seven steals on defense.
The win was never a given, as the Grizzlies took only a slim 39-37 lead heading into the halftime break. ASC kept that lead thanks in large part to a strong outside game. Anderson drained 3-of-5 long range attempts, while Hull added two more as the Grizzlies went 6-for-16 from beyond the arc in the half.
The second half turned in the Jensen and Moniak show, as the senior combined for 22 of ASC’s 46 points in the period. Anderson drained two more 3-pointers, while Jensen, Mortensen and Charles, Jr. coverted on five of six free throws down the stretch.
ASC was never sure of the win, keeping the ThunderWolves at bay after CSU-Pueblo scrapped their way to within one at 68-67 with 5:01 left in the game. The Grizzlies then used a 7-2 run to gain a little breathing room before fending off a persistent ThunderWolf squad that refused to give up.
CSU-Pueblo had four players in double figures, led by Ty McTyler’s 15. Brett Cloepfil and Jake Trahern added 13 and 12, respectively, while Brian Sewald added another 10. Sewald also had eight rebounds for the ThunderWolves.
With the win, the Grizzlies completed their first regular season sweep of CSU-Pueblo in ASC’s 15-year NCAA Division II era. The ThunderWolves are coached by former ASC great and all-time career 3-pointers made record holder Pat Eberhart.
The Grizzlies will remain at home to face arch-rival Western State College on Saturday night. That game begins at 8 p.m. and can be heard live on KSPK-FM, 103.5 in Alamosa or online at www.kspk.com. The contest will also be aired on a tape-delay basis on KSPK’s television station.