Grizzlies fall in OT
Miller's double-double not enough to overcome ASC's 31.6 percent free throw shooting
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Looking for a win that would go a long way in erasing much of the frustration of a season going sour, the Adams State College men’s basketball team nearly got it before falling by two points in overtime to arch-rival Western State College, Saturday night before a boisterous Plachy Hall crowd of 1,685.
The Mountaineers, now winners of three straight, were led by 16 Allen McFarland points and eight rebounds as they escaped with a 63-61 overtime thriller. The Grizzlies, who have now dropped seven straight contests, received a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double from junior Eric Miller (Aurora, Colo.) and a career-high 13 rebounds from Vitor de Zoppa (Sorocaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil), but could not overcome a 6-for-19 (31.6 percent) free throw shooting effort and 19 turnovers in the physical and super-intense game.
In the process, the Mountaineers improved to 11-9 overall and to 9-4 in the RMAC. The Grizzlies fell to 4-17 overall and to 1-12 in the loop.
The Grizzlies again trailed at halftime, something they have done regularly over the last two months, but rallied from as many as 11 points behind as Nate Ingbretson (Castle Rock, Colo.) scored five of his 16 points in a 7-0 Grizzly run over 4:49 that cut the deficit to just four.
The Grizzlies continued to battle and eventually took a 49-48 lead with 4:44 to go on a Miller dunk, the first of four lead changes in the final five minutes of regulation.
However, the Mountaineers answered right back as Cameron Burney scored two of his nine points to put the visitors up 50-49.
However, ASC took the lead once again with 2:39 on a Seth Heinbaugh (Prescott, Ariz.) bucket just moments before Justin Avalos hit a 25-foot 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.
The Grizzlies did not crumble as Ingbretson tied the game while drawing a whistle on Avalos with 48.5 seconds to go.
However, Jeremy Brooks scored at the other end with 14.5 seconds to go before Grizzly senior Sean Amos (Philadelphia, Pa.) sent the game to overtime with his response that came with just 5.9 seconds to go.
The Mountaineers never trailed in overtime as another big Avalos trey with 3:15 left in the extra period put the Mountaineers up 62-57.
The Grizzlies tried to counter and cut the gap to three on a Miller dunk with 1:45 to go before falling behind by four on a McFarland free throw.
The Grizzlies then missed two free throws with 1:07 to go before a de Zoppa steal on the ensuing play set the Grizzlies up once again. However, Amos was called for charging a flash later as the Mountaineers ended up holding for the win.
The rivals, who have now played a combined three overtime periods in the last two meetings, were both very tough on defense. The Grizzlies shot just 42.4 percent (25-59) from the field despite but grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and a season-high 50 overall.
The Mountaineers shot at just 33.3 percent (23-69) clip from the field as they preferred the 3-point attack. They hit nine treys as a team but also took 36 attempts (25.0 percent). They also had 17 offensive rebounds despite being out-boarded 50-43 overall.
The Grizzlies got off to a quick start and led 10-2 early and by a 13-7 margin more than eight minutes in before a 12-2 Mountaineer run, highlighted put Brooks and Alex Hart 3-pointers, put the Mountaineers up 19-15.
The Grizzlies came back to tie the game on Erick Seaman (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and de Zoppa buckets but watched Burney knock down a 3-pointer to start a 9-0 Mountaineer run that gave the visitors control.
Leading 33-25 at the break, the Mountaineers led by as many as 11 early in the second half before the Grizzlies started their comeback.
The Grizzlies wrap up the home portion of their schedule next weekend hosting RMAC West Division leading New Mexico Highlands on Friday and Colorado State-Pueblo on Feb. 14 in what will be the final career home game for Amos and de Zoppa, the Grizzlies’ two seniors.
Both games will tip-off at 8 p.m. and can be heard live on KSPK-FM (104.1 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.
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