Charles, Jr. sparks Grizzlies to 61-52 road win
by Chris Day
LAS VEGAS, N.M.ó Senior guard Larry Charles, Jr. (Tucson, Ariz.) provided an early spark while scoring a career-high 24 points as the Adams State College menís basketball team won its first road game in more than a month defeating host New Mexico Highlands University, 61-52 Thursday night in the Cowboysí Wilson Complex.
Charles, Jr. had half of ASCís first 16 points while setting up senior Rece Hampton (Greenwood, Miss.) for a thunderous alley-oop as the Grizzlies opened a double-figure lead in the first 10 minutes en-route to their 11th win of the season. Now 11-5 overall, the Grizzlies have won back-to-back contests since a 3-game slide and moved into a second place tie with Mesa State in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference West Division standings with a 5-3 league mark.
NMHU, led by 5-foot-6 point guard Leo Uralís 13 points, never led and fell to 0-16 (0-8 RMAC).
The Grizzlies played their best defensive game of the season holding the Cowboys to just 16 first-half points on a 22.7 (5-22) shooting effort.
Trailing by 14 at the break, the Cowboys did heat up in the second half and did not go away pulling within four after a 13-0 run after the Grizzlies had built a 40-23 lead, their largest of the game, on a Sean Amos (Philadelphia, Pa.) bucket with 15:16 to go.
However, the Grizzlies did just enough to keep their advantage and doubled a 3-point lead with a Charles, Jr. trey with less than seven minutes left before closing out the win with a defensive effort that allowed just six points in the final seven minutes.
Overall, ASCís defense allowed just a 36.0 percent (18-50) field goal percentage to the Cowboys, who were only 4-for-18 (22.2 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Grizzlies did struggle offensively at times finishing the win with only a 43.5 percent (20-46) shooting effort of their own.
However, 11 steals, the points from Charles, Jr. and another 10 from Hampton proved to be enough for the Grizzlies to win their third straight game in the rivalry.
The Grizzlies now get a day off before visiting their fourth road game this month at Western New Mexico (8-8, 4-4 RMAC), which fell out of 4-3 RMAC logjam with a 64-60 setback to Colorado State-Pueblo in Silver City on Thursday.
Tip-off between the Grizzlies and Mustangs is at 8 p.m. and can be heard on KSPK-FM (103.5 & 104.1 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.