Grizzlies give up 22-point lead in 90-85 loss at Chadron
CHADRON, Neb.— The Adams State College men’s basketball team lost a 22-point second half lead and a chance to take over first place in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s West Division as the host Chadron State College Eagles rallied from the big deficit to post a 90-85 RMAC win over the Grizzlies on Thursday night here in the Armstrong Gymnasium.
The Grizzlies, who jumped out to a 7-1 start, have now lost both of their games since returning from the Christmas break while falling to 9-4 overall and to 3-2 in RMAC play. The Eagles, who were 0-8 away from home, but a solid 3-1 on their home court coming in to Thursday’s tilt, improved to 4-9 overall.
They are also 3-2 in the RMAC.
A Grizzly win would have them in front of arch-rival Western State, which was drubbed 77-53 at Colorado Christian. The Mountaineers are now 3-1 in RMAC play while the Cougars, who ASC beat 81-78 in overtime on Dec. 15, took over sole possession of the overall RMAC lead with their 4-1 conference mark.
The Eagles comeback was led by redshirt freshman guard Tim McLaurin, who finished the night with 31 points, including 23 in the second half. He was 10-for-13 from the field in the second half.
ASC had five players in double figures, including junior Sean Amos (Philadelphia, Pa.), who poured in a career-high 24 points. ASC senior power forward Rece Hampton (Greenwood, Miss.) added 13 rebounds in the effort that ultimately fell short.
“We quit playing,” ASC coach Mark Murdock said after the contests. “It’s a 40-minute game. This is a hard lesson for our guys to learn, especially in a conference game,” he added.
Leading by as many as 11 in the first half and by a 45-38 margin at halftime, the Grizzlies roared to a 64-42 lead after a 19-4 run in which the Eagles managed just free throws over the first 6:13 of the second half.
The Eagles then got two more free throws and a Marco DeSouza trey to start a 34-12 scoring run that featured six consecutive field goals by McLaurin.
That spurt allowed the Eagles to tie the game at 76.
The Eagles and Amos then traded buckets as the game was tied at 80 before an Eagle layup and McLaurin jumper around a missed Grizzly 3-pointer started the endgame that the Eagles finished off with some late free throws.
CSC dominated the glass out-rebounding the Grizzlies 45-30. That helped them overcome ASC’s hot 54.4 percent (31-57) shooting effort that included a 5-for-12 (41.7 percent) effort from 3-point land.
Amos was 9 of 19 from the field and added a career-high seven assists while registering two blocked shots and three steals. Hampton was held to nine points but did block three shots while hitting 4 of 5 shots from the field in 19 foul-trouble plagued minutes.
Larry Charles, Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.) had 15 points, four assists and three steals before fouling out while Travis Carr (Canon City, Colo.), Marcus Mortensen (Cortez, Colo.) and Vitor de Zoppa (Sorocaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil) combined for 33 more points.
The Grizzlies now take just one day off before returning to the floor for a Saturday afternoon contest at Nebraska-Kearney, which dropped a 76-73 overtime decision to visiting Colorado State-Pueblo, which had been winless in RMAC play.
The Lopers’ Drake Beranek scored 24 points while grabbing 12 rebounds in the losing effort. He leads the RMAC in scoring and is second in rebounding.
ASC’s Hampton leads the RMAC in field goal percentage, steals and blocked shots.
The Grizzlies have never defeated the Lopers in Kearney and had not defeated them at all until last year’s RMAC Shootout Semifinal.
UNK is just 4-8 overall and 2-3 in RMAC play this year.
Tip-off is at 4 p.m. (CST), and can be heard on KSPK-FM (103.5 & 104.1 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.