Roadunners race by Grizzlies
ALAMOSA, Colo.— The Metro State College Roadrunners hit five of their first six 3-point shots quickly building a 26-8 lead en-route to a 96-67 win over the host Adams State College Grizzlies in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference opener for both teams, Friday night here in Plachy Hall.
The Roadrunners, who have now won five straight games after dropping their season-opener at St. Cloud State (Minn.), were led by Jesse Wagstaff’s game-high 24 points, 11 of which came from the free throw line in a flow-less game that featured 40 total turnovers and 47 total fouls. Wagstaff was 6-for-11 from the field and missed just one free throw while adding five rebounds and a game-high five steals.
The Roadrunners had 20 as a team and shot 60.7 percent (31-54) from the field throughout the night and a deadly 72.7 percent (8-11) from 3-point land in the first half as they took a 20-point lead into the break before outscoring the Grizzlies 45-36 in the second half that included 25 of the game’s fouls, including a technical charged to the Roadrunners’ Nelson Ekeh just 43 seconds into the period.
Ekeh, who played just eight total minutes while not returning to the game, and Lawrence Billings each had four blocked shots for the Roadrunners, who swatted away 12 as a team.
The Grizzlies, who have now dropped four straight while falling to 2-5, had three players in double figures, a group led by sophomore Seth Heinbaugh (Prescott, Ariz.), who tallied a team-high 12 points. However, that effort and another 21 combined points from junior Adrian Davis (Lubbock, Texas), who had 11, and senior Sean Amos (Philadelphia, Pa.), who also registered a game-high seven boards, including five offensive, were not nearly enough for ASC, which fell to 2-5.
The Grizzlies did dominate the offensive glass category, a bright spot on the night. ASC recorded 22 offensive rebounds for the second straight game compared to the Roadrunners’ eight but shot just 33.3 percent (22-66) from the field as they were unable to take advantage.
The Roadrunners, who received a solid 17-point effort from Chris Robinson and another 10 points, five assists and four steals from point guard Marquise Carrington, converted 25 Grizzly turnovers into 37 points on the night and scored all 21 fast-break points of the contest.
Trailing by 18 just 8:05 into the game, the Grizzlies did claw within 10 thanks to a 10-2 run but watched a trey from the hands of Brian Minor spark a 10-0 Roadrunner spurt as the visitors went up by 20.
After ASC junior Jason King (Minneapolis, Minn.) scored two of his career-high seven points, the that Roadrunners went on another 9-0 run, capped by a Daniel Bass trey to build a 27-point lead before the Grizzlies closed out the half outscoring the visitors 11-4.
The Grizzlies closed the 20-point halftime deficit to 14 just 2:50 in on a Heinbaugh 3-point play but would get no closer as the Roadrunners cruised to the win, their first in five years and three visits to Plachy Hall.
The Roadrunners finished the night 9-for-15 (60.0 percent) from 3-point land and held ASC to a 7-for-23 (30.4 percent) effort.
The Grizzlies will look to bounce back on Saturday night at 8 o’clock when they host Regis (2-5, 1-0 RMAC), who posted a 68-67 upset win at Fort Lewis on Friday in Durango. The Roadrunners will head to Fort Lewis in what will be a clash of the teams picked to win the two RMAC Divisions according to the RMAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
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