Fox leads Grizzlies in overtime thriller over Fort Lewis
ASC wins third straight heading into Thursday night finale
ALAMOSA, Colo.— True freshman Nick Fox (Colorado Springs, Colo.) hit the game-tying shot in regulation and scored the Grizzlies’ last four points in overtime as he tallied a game-high 33 points and a career-high 17 rebounds as the Adams State College men’s basketball team won an 90-87 overtime thriller over regionally-ranked Fort Lewis College, Tuesday night here in Plachy Hall. The Grizzlies, who beat the Skyhawks for the first time in three years and six tries, also got overtime 3-pointers from senior Forrest Becker (Albuquerque, N.M.) and Robby Hanzlik (Denver, Colo.), the latter of which put the Grizzlies up for good, as they won for the third time in five nights.
The Skyhawks, led by nine 3-pointers and 31 points from Daniel Kanyinda and a 24-point, 11-rebound double-double from reigning RMAC West Division Player of the Week DeAndre Lansdowne , shot just 46.2 percent (12-26) from the free throw line throughout the night making just two of six charity shots in the overtime as Fox and the Grizzlies took full advantage to claim the win behind a solid 52.6 percent (30-57) team shooting effort. Hanzlik’s 20 points and a 6-for-9, 3-dunk effort by true freshman Jack Osborn (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia), who scored a career-high 12 points, also significantly aided the win.
The Grizzlies, who had beat NCAA Division II Central Regional Ranking leaders Mesa State on Friday night and arch-rival Western State on Saturday are now 7-19 overall and 4-14 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play heading into their season finale on Thursday against idle Western New Mexico.
Fort Lewis, which was ranked sixth in last week’s regional rankings, is now 18-8 overall and 12-6 in RMAC play but saw its hopes of claiming a share of a RMAC West Division title go by the way-side as Mesa State (20-4, 14-3 RMAC) is now assured of the division title and a No. 1 seed in next week’s RMAC Shootout.
New regional rankings will be released Wednesday but will not include results of Tuesday night’s game as the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Committee will not consider Tuesday’s game until next week.
Fox, who now has three 30-point games this season, was a quiet assassin for much of the game, somewhat quietly compiling 18 points and seven rebounds in the first half, a period that saw the Grizzlies jump out to a 40-27 lead with two minutes left.
The Skyhawks, who hit 15 3-pointers throughout the night, were able to claw back within 40-34 by halftime on a Lansdowne 3-pointer and a pair of last-minute Kyle Behrens layups but gave up the second half’s opening basket to Osborn. However, they quickly pulled within 42-40 on back-to-back to Kanyinda 3-pointers.
The Grizzlies then caught a break as they hit all four of their free throws on their next possession as Skyhawk coach Bob Hofman was hit with a technical foul after commenting on the previous foul call.
Moments later, Hanzlik recorded a steal and layup before answering a Skyhawk basket with one of his four 3-pointers putting the Grizzlies up 51-44 just 4:17 into the second half.
The Skyhawks, who were guilty of just seven turnovers in the contest, did not led the game away and went on a 16-6 run featuring three of Kanyinda’s long-distance calls, taking a 60-57 lead on a Daniel Steffensen 3-pointer after a Kanyinda offensive rebound.
However, the run did not phase the Grizzlies as they battled back to take a 68-67 lead with a 3-pointer from the left corner by Hernandez with five minutes to go in regulation and another 71-70 lead moments later when senior Eric Miller (Aurora, Colo.) recorded a 3-point play.
However, the game as far from over as another Steffensen 3-pointer tied the game at 73 before a Lansdowne layup knotted it aft 75 with 1:51 left after two Fox free throws. Lansdowne did miss a free throw on what could have been a 3-point play preserving the tie game for a few more moments.
The Grizzlies did turn the ball over just seconds later before Lansdowne tipped home his third shot of the possession putting the Skyhawks up 77-75.
After the Grizzlies, sliced the deficit with one Fox free throw with 1:20 to go, the Skyhawks had a chance to put the dagger in the Grizzlies heart but could not as a Lansdowne 3-pointer rimmed off. Connor Drumm grabbed the offensive rebound but missed both free throws.
Still down 77-76, the Grizzlies would come up empty on the other end as Kanyinda blocked a Hanzlik shot before Drumm was fouled again with just 26.8 seconds to go. The Skyhawk was able to make one of the two free throws to put the visitors up 78-76.
However, Fox answered with a 16-foot jumper off a dish-off by fellow freshman Colton Lauwers (Anchorage, Alaska) to tie the game with 12.5 seconds to go in regulation.
In the overtime, it was the Skyhawks who struck first as Steffensen, who finished with 11 points, stole the ball before hitting a layup to put his team up 80-78.
He then blocked a shot on the other end before Kanyinda missed one of two free throws helping the Grizzlies come back to take a 83-81 lead thanks to two Hanzlik free throws and Becker’s clutch 3-pointer with 2:51 left.
Kanyinda would answer just over a minute later giving the Skyhawks their final lead, 84-83. However, Hanzlik then delivered again with his last 3-pointer giving the suddenly hot Grizzlies, now enjoying their best winning streak of the season, an 86-84 lead.
The Skyhawks were able to draw a foul on the ensuing possession but made just one free throw before Fox followed his own miss with a 6-foot jumper in the paint giving the Grizzlies an 88-85 lead in the final minute of overtime.
Behrens, who finished with 10 points for the Skyhawks, then answered with a bucket with 33.0 seconds of his own before Becker missed two free throws after being fouled to stop the clock.
Down 88-87 the Skyhawks had ample opportunities at the other end as Lansdowne missed a lay-up and a tip-in attempt before drawing a foul on the ensuing rebounds. However, the junior guard missed both of the free throws with 7.1 seconds left as Fox iced the game with two free throws at the other end putting the Grizzlies up 90-87 with just 2.2 seconds left.
The Skyhawks were only able to get a desperation 3-pointer off from 50 feet as time expired.
The Skyhawks shot 42.3 percent (30-71) from the field throughout the evening and were just 3-for-10 (30.0 percent) in overtime but recorded 23 assists as Lansdowne finished with a game-high seven. He also had four of the Skyhawks’ 17 offensive rebounds.
Fox, who had 29 points and 14 rebounds by the end of regulation, finished the game 10-for-19 from the field and was also a solid 12-for-15 from the free throw line. He played nearly the entire game.
Hanzlik did play the entire night going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc and 6-for-12 from the field overall.
The Grizzlies will now get just one night off and will be back on the floor for their fourth home game in seven nights when they take on Western New Mexico at 8 p.m., Thursday. The Mustangs (10-14, 9-8 RMAC) had won three straight games before dropping a 91-90 decision in double-overtime to Colorado State-Pueblo, falling a game behind the Pack for the fourth and final RMAC Shootout spot from the West Division.
Thursday’s contest, which will be preceded by Senior Night festivities honoring Becker, Miller, Xavier Lewis (San Jose, Calif.) and redshirt junior Stratton Solomon (Joseph City, Ariz.), who will graduate in May, can be heard live on KSPK-FM (104.1 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.
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