Grizzlies move to 5-0 behind Richards, Heinbaugh double-doubles
RMAC co-leading ASC gets by former assistant for first time in three years
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.— Marqus Richards (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Seth Heinbaugh (Prescott Valley, Ariz.) combined for 48 points and 21 rebounds as each recorded double-doubles to lead the Adams State College Grizzlies to their fifth straight win by a 89-82 margin over former ASC assistant coach Russ Caton’s University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Mountain Lions, Saturday night here in the Gallogly Center.
The Grizzlies, who played a polar opposite type of game in a 65-57 road win over Colorado State University-Pueblo on Friday, are now 5-0 overall and 2-0 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play.
The Mountain Lions had five players in double figures, three of whom tallied 16 points, but fell to 2-4 overall and to 0-2 in the early league standings.
Richards, who now has two double-doubles and three 20-plus point games in his brief Grizzly career after transferring from Trinidad State Junior College, tallied a season-high 27 points while grabbing a season-high matching 11 rebounds. Meanwhile, Heinbaugh tallied a season-high 21 points and 10 boards to record his second double-double of the season and the 10th of his career. In the process, the senior eclipsed the 500 career rebound mark and now has 508.
The Grizzlies also received 16 points from junior Shayar Lee (Phoenix, Ariz.) and forced 26 turnovers while tallying 14 steals to overcome a hot shooting night from the Mountain Lions, who had defeated the Grizzlies in each of the last two years after a stretch of 11 straight Grizzly wins in the rivalry.
The victory, which allowed the Grizzlies to equal their longest winning streak in three years, was a little extra special for first year ASC head coach Louis Wilson as he was able to reunite with Caton, who had played for the then Southern Utah assistant coach 15 years ago. The two helped the Thunderbirds win an America West Conference title during that 1995-96 season.
Caton then returned home to Alamosa and was a Second Team All-RMAC selection for the Grizzlies in 1996-97 before moving on to serve as the top assistant for now ASC director of athletics Larry Mortensen in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons, a position that unquestionably helped him land his first collegiate head coaching job in 2006-07.
Meanwhile, Wilson’s path took him to Idaho State for eight years and to Cal State-Northridge for four before being claiming his first collegiate head coaching job with the Grizzlies in March.
After the pre-game reminiscing, the coaches then got down to business for what turned out to be an up-and-down donnybrook.
Both teams had as large as 8-point leads in the first half as a Lee 3-pointer sparked a 16-4 Grizzly run over 2:16 of the latter stages of the stanza giving the Grizzlies that 52-44 edge.
Leading 54-47 at the break, the Grizzlies would not give up their lead although the Mountain Lions did keep it close before eventually tying the game at 67 with two Brent Jones free throws with 12:11 left.
However, Heinbaugh, who was a stellar 10-for-11 from the line, answered with two of his own before a Richards jumper off one of Lee’s three assists, put the Grizzlies back up by four (71-67).
The Mountain Lions would not go away and took their first lead of the half, 72-71, on a Sam Feilmeier free throw with 8:09 to go.
The Grizzlies then reclaimed the lead for good on a Lee 3-pointer at the 7:23 mark and used that shot to trigger what ended up being a 12-3 run, highlighted by a Richards dunk following a Deray Wilson (Anchorage, Alaska) steal and assist.
Leading 84-74 after a Richards jumper at 3:04, the Grizzlies then made five of their six free throws down the stretch to ice the win.
The Grizzlies, who shot just 50.0 percent from the line in Friday’s victory, were a much better 19-for-25 (76.0 percent) from the charity stripe in the triumph over the Mountain Lions. They also used 19 offensive rebounds to claim a 28-6 edge in second chance points, a major factor that allowed them to overcome 10 Mountain Lion 3-pointers and a respectable 49.0 percent (25-51) floor shooting effort by the hosts.
Feilmeier and Luke Hristou were both 3-for-5 from beyond the arc for UCCS and scored 16 points each as did Alan Paul, who was tied with Hristou for team-high rebounding honors at six. Paul also hit on both of his 3-point shots while guards Jordan McClung and Damar Hill combined for 13 assists.
Grizzly junior guard Jamiko Verner (Denver, Colo.) tallied five assists and three steals while scoring seven points. Meanwhile, Wilson tallied five steals while coming off the bench.
The Grizzlies, who have started 2-0 in RMAC play for the first time in five years and 5-0 overall for the first time in at least a quarter-century, are one of just three unbeaten squads in the RMAC after Preseason RMAC Favorite Fort Lewis went down 78-74 to Colorado State-Pueblo on Saturday.
The Grizzlies will take on that Skyhawk squad (5-1, 1-1 RMAC) in a week in Durango. Tip-off on Dec. 11 is slated for 7:30 p.m. and can be heard live on KSPK-FM (104.1 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.