Grizzlies upset Fort Lewis on senior day, 85-77
ALAMOSA, Colo.ó The Adams State College menís basketball team sent their seniors out in style on Saturday. Playing in the final regular season home game of their careers, seniors Rajshad Anderson (Lewisville, Texas), Wes Jensen (Molalla, Ore.), David Hull (Belen, N.M.), Russ Murrey (El Cerrito, Calif.) and Roman Moniak (Sacramento, Calif.) put on a stellar second half showing and claimed a thrilling 85-77 win over the visiting Fort Lewis College Skyhawks in ASCís Plachy Hall.
The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference West Division leading Skyhawks had entered Saturdayís contest looking to take control of the Division with a win. Instead, the Grizzlies battled back from a 39-29 halftime deficit to outscore FLC in the second half by a 56-38 margin, converting on 11 of 12 free throws in the final 1:23 of the game to seal the win.
ASC moved to an even 12-12 on the season and 11-6 in the conference while FLC heads into the final week of the regular season with 20-6 overall and 12-5 conference marks.
The Grizzlies got off to a slow start, missing five of their first six shots and turning the ball over five times as FLC jumped out to a quick 16-3 lead. That start mirrored ASCís fast start in the last meeting between the two teams when the Grizzlies jumped out to a 20-4 lead early before losing 77-85 in a Feb. 2 battle.
The Skyhawks, in contrast, drained seven of their first nine shots in that stretch. FLC senior Tim Bieri had three of those, including a pair of 3-point baskets.
FLC would hang on to that double-digit lead through much of the period before a late 3-pointer by Hull cut it to 29-36 with 31 seconds left, but FLCís Ryan Jameson answered with a trey of his own to put the Skyhawks back up by ten heading into the intermission.
Not about to go down without a fight, the Grizzlies hit the floor in the second half having found the shooting touch during the break. ASC drained 17 of 28 shots (60.7 percent) and 17 of 19 (89.5 percent) from the charity stripe. Junior point guard Larry Charles, Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.) scored all 15 of his points in that half, going 4-for-6 from the floor in the effort.
ASC used an 11-0 run to open the second half, capped by a Marcus Mortensen (Cortez, Colo.) 3-pointer that gave the Grizzlies their first lead of the game. The two teams the fought through five lead changes and four ties before the Grizzlies took the lead for good, pulling away from a 50-50 tie to go up 57-52 with 9:20 left to go in the game.
The Grizzlies would exted that lead to as many as 14 at 72-58 before staving off a late Skyhawk rally with solid free throw shooting to preserve the win.
Jensen, who was honored along with the four other seniors prior to the start of the game, led four Grizzlies in double figures with 20 points. Moniak added 18 whilt Mortensen and Charles, Jr. chipped in 16 and 15, respectively.
FLC was led by a 24-point effort from Bieri. Ryan Jameson and Guy Meyer also had 15 apiece for the Skyhawks, who are still tied for the Division lead with Mesa State College, which took a 74-72 thriller of a victory at Colorado State-Pueblo on Saturday night.
The Grizzlies will now face a 3-day road swing through New Mexico, taking on New Mexico Highlands University on Thursday and Western New Mexico on Saturday. Thursdayís game is slated to start at 8 p.m. while Saturdayís tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. Both games can be heard live on KSPK-FM, 103.5 in Alamosa or online at www.kspk.com.