Hampton dunks, solid defense propels Grizzlies over Metro
ASC heads into break sporting 9-2 mark
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Senior Rece Hampton (Greenwood, Miss.) recorded eight slam-dunks while recording 27 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots as the Adams State College Grizzlies exacted revenge with a stellar defensive effort en-route to a 80-66 victory over visiting Metro State College, Sunday night in Plachy Hall.
The Grizzlies, winners of seven of their last eight overall and seven straight home games dating back to last season, never trailed as they held the Roadrunners to a 29.2 percent (7-24) in the first half and 44.0 percent (22-50) overall as they improved to 9-2 overall and to 3-1 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play.
Despite 28 Marquise Carrington points, the Roadrunners dropped the rematch of last year’s RMAC Shootout Championship game and fell to 5-7 overall and to 1-3 in conference play.
With the game tied at 15 with just ender eight minutes to go in the first half, the Grizzlies went on a 13-3 run over 4:55 to build a 28-18 lead that they took into the break.
The Roadrunners, who were held to just one 3-pointer in the first half, had just one field goal in the final 7:49 off the first half and were even quieter in the start of the second as the Grizzlies went on a 9-0 run to quickly build a 21-point (39-18) edge.
Hampton had three dunks in that spurt alone and started the half as Larry Charles, Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.) fed the 6-foot-5 power forward for an alley-oop just 10 seconds into the period. He finished the night 12-for-15 (80.0 percent) from the field.
Another 10-2 run, triggered by two more Hampton dunks, allowed the Grizzlies to lead by the 2-time NCAA Division II National Championship Roadrunners by as many as 23 (53-30) as Travis Carr (Canon City, Colo.) drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing.
Carrington, who scored 25 points in the second half, then started a 10-0 Roadrunner run that included five Guiseppe Ciancio points before the Grizzlies built their advantage back up to 19 with under five minutes to go, the Roadrunners turned an already physical game into a foul-fest as they racked many of their 35 personal fouls in an effort to extend the game.
Although the Grizzlies finished just 55.8 percent (24-43) from the line, the Roadrunners’ strategy only minimally worked as three Carrington turnovers killed any chance of a miracle.
Four Roadrunner players fouled out of the contest while another two had four fouls in the game that had 60 whistles and 68 free throws.
Although the Grizzlies shot just 40.0 percent (10-25) in the first half, they heated up to 59.3 percent (16-27) in a more-open second half. The Grizzlies also controlled the glass and the inside game as the out-rebounded the Roadrunners, 37-28 while racking up 36 of their 56 floor points from the paint.
Charles, Jr. and Vitor de Zoppa (Soracaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil) joined Hampton in double figures as he scored 11 points. Charles, Jr. also had six assists and three steals, both game-highs. Zoppa also had a career-high seven rebounds a night after scoring a career-high 17 points in ASC’s overtime win over Colorado Christian.
Jesse Wagstaff had 15 points and five rebounds to help the Roadrunner cause.
The Grizzlies, off to their best NCAA Division II era (1992-93/Present) start are now off for nearly two weeks before returning to the floor for a non-conference game at Grand Canyon (Ariz.) on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 8 p.m.