Verner receives third RMAC defensive accolades of season
Grizzlies to hit the road for four straight
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After another weekend of impressive thievery, in which he swiped eight steals in a pair of Adams State wins over New Mexico Highlands and Western New Mexico, Grizzly senior guard Jamiko Verner (Denver, Colo.) has earned his third Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Defensive Player of the Week honors of the season.
Verner had previously been tabbed as the league’s top defender on Jan. 16 and Dec. 5. He is now the league’s second 3-time defensive selection this year, as Colorado Mines’ Trevor Wages has also taken the award on three occasions.
After suffering road losses to both the Cowboys and Mustangs at the beginning of January, the Grizzlies avenged both and won their weekend two-for by an average of 19.0 points. On Friday, Verner recorded four steals and dished out five assists in an 86-66 win over NMHU. He recorded another four steals and handed out three assists Saturday against WNMU, a win that extended the Grizzlies current winning streak at Plachy Hall to 16 games dating back to last season.
Verner, who is averaging 3.8 steals per game this season, currently ranks second in Division II behind Dominican’s (Calif.) Xander McNally, who is averaging 3.9 per outing. However, Verner’s average is well ahead of the rest of the RMAC, as Colorado State-Pueblo’s Andre Martin, second in steals in the conference, averages 2.2.
The catalyst for the Grizzlies’ fast-paced defense and transition game, Verner also ranks second in the RMAC in both assists (4.0 per game) and assist/turnover ratio (1.6) Only Bryce Velasquez of the CSU-Pueblo ranks higher than Verner in each category.
Velasquez and the ThunderWolves will be the Grizzlies’ second opponent of the weekend when ASC hits the road for a 4-game road swing before returning to Plachy to end the regular season on Feb. 24 and 25.
Adams State will open its weekend slate at UC-Colorado Springs on Friday night before traveling to Pueblo to face the ThunderWolves.
The Grizzlies faced each on the opening weekend of RMAC play, edging CSU-P 70-69 and topping the Mountain Lions 69-65. Verner led the Grizzlies during that weekend, tallying 11 steals and 12 assists in the two games.
After owning a road record of just 1-3 entering the month of January, the Grizzlies have won three of their last four away from Plachy and now own a 4-4 road mark. Winners of four straight, Adams State now stands just a half game back of No. 12 Metro State in the RMAC standings and 2 ½ back of No. 5 Colorado Mines. The Orediggers claimed a 72-67 win over the Roadrunners in Denver on Monday night in a weather-delayed contest. CSM owns the only winning active winning streak longer than the Grizzlies, and have now won seven straight since falling to ASC on Jan. 13.
The ThunderWolves and Mountain Lions will enter the weekend at 10th and 11th in the RMAC standings, respectively. UCCS has dropped six straight and owns a 6-10 league record. CSU-P topped the Mountain Lions on Saturday, improving to 7-9 in the league.
Grizzly fans unable to make the trek to see ASC on the road this weekend can follow the action as it unfolds by checking out live stats (Friday live stats & Saturday live stats), listening in at www.kspk.com (104.1 FM in Alamosa), or watching the games on subscription-based America One.
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