Grizzlies hoping home court turns around 3-game slide
ASC to host Colorado Mines
ALAMOSA, Colo.ó Adams State College menís basketball coach Mark Murdock is hoping that the home-court advantage turns around a recent slump as the Grizzlies host the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers in a critical Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference contest, Friday night in Plachy Hall.
Tip-off with the Orediggers is slated for around 8 p.m., after the womenís games between the same teams, and can be heard on KSPK-FM (103.5 & 104.1 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.
The Grizzlies got off to a quick 9-2 pre-holiday start but have since lost an 84-58 decision to Grand Canyon (Ariz.) before giving up 22 and 9-point second half leads in RMAC road losses to Chadron State and Nebraska-Kearney last week.
Just 1-5 on the road, the Grizzlies are a perfect 8-0 in home or neutral-site games and sport a 7-game Plachy Hall winning streak dating back to February.
Now 9-5 overall, ASC is 3-3 in RMAC play heading into the final inter-divisional game against the Orediggers, last in the RMAC East Division with a 1-4 league mark. The Grizzlies are fifth in tight West Division standings that see three teams at 3-2, just a game behind 4-1 Fort Lewis, in the midst of a 5-game winning streak.
The Grizzlies last home games were right before the nearly 2-week break and were certainly something special.
On Dec. 15, junior Sean Amos (Philadelphia, Pa.), averaging a team-high 15.2 points over the last five games, scored a then career-high 22 points as the Grizzlies pulled out an 81-78 overtime decision over East Division co-leading Colorado Christian, also 4-1 in conference play. A night later, senior power forward Rece Hampton (Greenwood, Miss.) scored 27 points as the Grizzlies drilled defending RMAC Champion Metro State 80-66.
Amos then upped his career high to 24 points while doling out a career-high seven assists in the Chadron State game last Thursday.
Hampton is certainly been the most consistent Grizzly averaging 16.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He is also shooting at a 70.2 percent clip from the field, the best mark in the RMAC and the fifth best in the nation. Hampton also leads the RMAC in steals (36) and blocked shots (37). Just half way through the season, Hampton is already third on ASCís NCAA Division II era (1992-93/Present) single-season charts for blocked shots behind only former Grizzly great Frank Duru, who had 51 in 1995-96 and 40 in 1996-97.
Amos and senior guard Larry Charles, Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.) are also averaging in double-figures as they each average 10.9 points per game. Charles, Jr. is second only to fellow senior Marcus Mortensen (Cortez, Colo.) in assists. Mortensen is averaging 4.86 per game, third best in the RMAC, and has a strong 2.00 assist-to-turnover ratio, sixth highest in the league.
Senior Travis Carr (Canon City, Colo.) and junior Vitor de Zoppa (Sorocaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil) are also averaging 9.4 and 8.9 points per game, respectively, and give the Grizzlies some added scoring punch.
Zoppa has been in double figures in four of ASCís last five contests.
The Orediggers enter a Thursday night game at Colorado State-Pueblo with an 8-7 overall mark. They have lost both of their 2008 games after ending the 2007 calendar year as winners of three straight.
Junior guard Kyle Pape is averaging 18.9 points per game, fourth most in the conference. He also leads a 3-point happy team with 27 long distance calls. As a team, coach Pryor Orserís club is averaging 8.40 treys per game while shooting 39.9 percent from beyond the arc. They rank third and fourth in the RMAC in those respective categories.
A relatively short squad with three regular starters standing no taller than 6-foot, the Orediggers like to go inside to senior forward Ben Mohr before kicking the ball out for the 3. When Mohr, who leads the team in assists with 65, does not pass the ball out, he is shooting 64.0 percent from the field, second only to Hampton in the RMAC. He is the only man in the RMAC to be averaging a double-double with 13.2-point and 10.1-rebound per game averages.
Friday's game is ASC's only home contest until Jan. 26. The Grizzlies will play three road games in six days starting Jan. 17 at New Mexico Highlands.