Balanced Grizzlies hit century mark for first time in more than 300 games
ASC rolls to 100-64 Bankers Classic win over Oakwood
ALAMOSA, Colo.— Tournament MVP Seth Heinbaugh (Prescott, Ariz.) grabbed an impressive 18 rebounds while joining four other teammates in double figures for points as a balanced Adams State College men’s basketball team claimed their first 3-0 start in at least a quarter-century with a convincing 100-64 victory over visiting Oakwood (Ala.) University in the final game of the Adams State Bankers Classic, Saturday night here in Plachy Hall.
The Grizzlies and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference counterparts New Mexico Highlands each went 2-0 during the weekend classic-style tournament as the Cowboys defeated Tennessee Temple 102-91 in a foul plagued afternoon contest.
The Grizzlies, under the direction of new head coach Louis Wilson, never trailed as junior Shayar Lee (Phoenix, Ariz.), who was also named to the all-tournament team, tallied a game-high 17 points. Heinbaugh was close behind with 15 while Marqus Richards (Los Angeles, Calif.), who had 20 in Friday night’s win over Tennessee Temple, tallied 14. Deray Wilson (Anchorage, Alaska) and Robby Hanzlik (Denver, Colo.) also registered 13 and 12-point nights, respectively, as the Grizzlies reached the century mark for the first time in 302 games, the last of which came on Dec. 18, 1999 when the Grizzlies also tallied 100 in a win over New Mexico Highlands.
The Grizzlies scored 50 points in each half and held the visiting Ambassadors to a 30.4 percent (21-69) shooting effort throughout the night. The Grizzlies also recorded 15 steals while forcing 24 total turnovers.
Oakwood, now 2-6 on the year, did have three players in double figures as all-tournament pick Marcus Fitts tallied 16 points and six rebounds on a 6-for-11 shooting night. He also had two blocked shots and two steals.
Lanardo Bryant and Ronald Bushner were also in double figures for points combining for 24. However, they were just a combined 7-for-27 from the floor.
Big 6-foot-8, 260-pound center Wilbur Ampey also played a solid game for the Ambassadors with 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Missing their first 12 shots in Friday’s 21-point (88-67) win over Tennessee Temple, the Grizzlies got off to a hot start against the Ambassadors rolling to 6-0 and 10-2 leads in the first four minutes.
The Grizzlies later had a 10-0 and 12-2 spurts in the first half building as much as a 23-point (49-26) lead on a Wilson jumper with 2:37 to go in the half.
However, the Ambassadors hit three of their four 3-pointers in the later stages of the half climbing back to within 50-37 at the break.
The visitors then opened the second half on a 7-0 run and were within six points (50-44) with 16:27 to go.
Still within seven (54-47) nearly two minutes later, the Grizzlies then started another 13-3 run with a Richards 3-point play while Lee hit four free throws to put the Grizzlies up 67-50 with 9:31 left.
The Ambassadors would trim the deficit to 15 just seconds later and to 16 twice more but watched another massive 23-2 run put the Grizzlies up by 37 (94-57) with three minutes left.
The Grizzlies then reached the 100-point mark with just over a minute left when redshirt freshman Colby Joe Hunt (Alamosa, Colo.) scored his first varsity points after a Hanzlik assist.
The Grizzlies truly dominated the game with their depth as Wilson used 12 players to help his team record a 48-14 advantage in bench points. The Grizzlies also had a big 52-30 edge in points in the paint as they shot 45.0 percent (36-80) from the floor.
The 80 shots that the run-and-gun Grizzlies took were equal to the second most in available single-game history (1997-98/Present) and were partially made possible by the team’s 58 total rebounds, equal to the record during that time. The Grizzlies had 21 offensive rebounds on the night but also gave up 22 such caroms to the Ambassadors at the other end.
A total of 68 fouls were whistled in the earlier game between New Mexico Highlands and Tennessee Temple. New Mexico Highlands, now 2-0 on the campaign, was 31 of 44 (70.5 percent) from the free throw line as Mindaugus Markevicius scored 12 of his team-high 23 points from the free throw line.
Meanwhile, Thomas Manzano, who was on the all-tournament team, finished with 20 points and seven rebounds while Cowboy point guard Ryan Daniels, also tabbed to the all-tournament team, scored 12 points while doling out six assists without a turnover, quite a feat considering the Cowboys were guilty of 27 as a team in the victory.
The Crusaders fell to 0-7 despite 23 points from all-tournament selection Lewis Leonard, who hit 16 of 18 free throw attempts. The Crusaders were 32-for-50 (64.0 percent) from the line as a team rallying from as many as 22 points down in the second half to make a game out of it.
The Grizzlies, who have now played three non-NCAA squads, will now have nearly two weeks off from game action before beginning a 22-game RMAC schedule on Friday, Dec. 3 at Colorado State-Pueblo.
Tip-off against the ThunderWolves, who went 1-1 in their Al Kaly Classic tournament this weekend, is slated for 8 p.m. that evening and can be heard live on KSPK-FM (104.1 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.
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