Grizzlies 'Buffaloed' at free throw line in 74-66 setback to WT
Amos scores game-high 22 to lead second half comeback attempt
ALAMOSA, Colo.— The Adams State College men’s basketball team left 13 points at the free throw line and shot just 16.7 percent (2-12) from beyond the arc as junior guard Nick Burns scored 18 points while grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds to lead the West Texas A&M University Buffalos to a 74-66 season-opening win over the host Grizzlies, Tuesday night in Plachy Hall.
The Grizzlies, who overcame a 9-point deficit early in the second half to eventually take a 59-57 lead at the 5-minute mark, missed five of their next seven free throws as some clutch shooting from Burns and the Buffs was enough to drop the Grizzlies to 1-1 on the young season.
The Grizzlies, who did have a slight field goal shooting percentage advantage, received a nice effort from senior guard Sean Amos (Philadelphia, Pa.), who poured in a game-high 22 points, just two off a career-high. Junior Adrian Davis (Lubbock, Texas) added 11 points, five assists and four steals while sophomore newcomer Nate Ingbretson (Castle Rock, Colo.) chipped in 11 points off the bench.
However, the Grizzlies’ 43.5 percent (10-23) free throw shooting effort killed their chances of victory in their 2008-09 home-opener.
That percentage was just over 38 late in the game before a Clint McFall 3-pointer from the left corner with just over a minute left put the Buffs up 66-61.
WTAMU, picked to finish second in the Lone Star Conference’s North Division by the conference’s preseason poll, got to that point with a 7-2 run over four minutes as Bijan Dotson hit four free throws to tie and then give the visitors the lead after Amos had hit one of two at the other end.
With his team leading 61-60 with 2:39 to go, Burns came up with a steal and then hit a jumper at the other end to put WTAMU up by three before Seth Heinbaugh (Prescott, Ariz.) trimmed the deficit slightly hitting one of two charity shots.
However, McFall scored his only points of the night with his clutch trey before three straight missed 3-pointers by the Grizzlies and six Burns points, four of which came from the line, in the final minute iced the Buffalo victory.
The game was truly competitive throughout as neither team gained a double-figure lead until the final minute. The contest was tied six times and featured four lead changes as the Grizzlies trailed 34-30 at the break before surrendering a 7-2 run to begin the second half to fall behind by nine.
However, Amos scored all seven of ASC’s points in a 7-2 extended run that made it a 43-39 ball game with 14:17 left.
The Buffs extended that lead to as many as eight, thanks in large part to Burns and Niko Stylianou 3-pointers, before a Amos jumper and Ingbretson dunk trimmed the deficit to just four at the media timeout.
The teams continued to battle before the Grizzlies eventually took their 59-57 lead on a Heinbaugh lay-up from Vitor de Zoppa (Sorocaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil) before missing their free throws down the stretch.
Although the Buffs shot just 44.4 percent (24-54) from the field overall, they made a solid 76.0 percent (19-25) of their shots from the line and hit seven treys on 20 attempts (35.0).
Each team committed 18 turnovers in a statistic that really did not affect the outcome.
The Grizzlies worked in the inside game as they shot 58.3 percent (14-24) in the first half and 46.6 percent (27-58) overall.
ASC will look to bounce back this weekend as they host the Adams State Bankers Classic on Friday and Saturday. The Grizzlies face Division III Colorado College, 1-1 on the year at 8 p.m. Friday before facing Cal State-Dominguez Hills, 1-0 thus far, on Saturday night at the same time.
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