Grizzlies snap losing slide with 48-45 win over Mesa State
Alamosa, Colo.ó Using a superb defensive effort, a gutsy second half spurt and a career-high 11 points from Marcus Mortensen, the Adams State College Grizzly menís basketball team claimed its first win of the season by a 48-45 margin over the visiting Mesa State College Mavericks on Saturday night in Plachy Hall. The Grizzlies, who had dropped 20 straight games dating back to the 2003-04 season, are now 1-18 overall and 1-10 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play. MSC slipped to 10-7 overall and 5-6 in the loop with the physical defeat.
Mortensen, a redshirt freshman from Cortez, also had a career-high six assists while matching his career high in rebounds with a 6-pack. The 4A Colorado Player of the Year as a junior at Montezuma-Cortez High School, Mortensen also hit a big free throw with just 19 seconds remaining as the Grizzlies held on for the crowd-pleasing win.
Trailing 26-18 at the half and by 11 after Jeremy Cummings hit a Maverick 3-pointer to start the second, ASC came marching back with a 11-2 run to close within a bucket. Minutes later, ASC sophomore David Hull tied the game at 37 with one of ASCís seven trifectas. That was the start of an 8-0 ASC run as the Grizzlies went up 42-37 on a Mortensen layup with 6:17 to go.
The Mavericks, who were lead by 12 Andy Classick points, did not go away and cut a 44-39 deficit to just 46-45 on a Classick back-in bucket with 56 ticks left. The teams then traded turnovers before David Mitchell, who had a team and co-game-high 12 points, stole a Cummings in-bounds pass before drawing a hard foul as he was going up for two. After Mitchell hit one of two free throws, Greg Baker came up with a defensive tie-up just a flash after a Darnell Jones defensive rebound.
The Grizzlies had the possession arrow and got the ball to Mortensen on the ensuing in-bounds play. Mortensen then hit the first of two free throws before the Mavericks had two potential game-tying 3-point attempts at the other end.
Mortensen came down with the rebound on the second before throwing the ball away with 1.1 seconds left. The Mavericks forced to go 85-feet in that time did get the ball to Tony Qorri on the left wing before Qorriís 3-pointer from just behind the line rimmed out as time expired.
Neither team generated much offense as the Grizzlies held the Mavericks to a season-low 45 points. ASC was also held to a season-low, but committed just 14 turnovers, the fewest in 15 games. After shooting just 23.3 percent (7-30) in the first half, the Grizzlies improved to 44.4 percent (12-27) in the second. MSC cooled from a 38.1 percent (8-21) first half effort to hit just 6 of 27 (22.2 percent) in the second.
Holding the Mavericks to a 29.2 percent clip overall, ASC recorded 10 steals on 15 Maverick turnovers. They converted those to 14 points and had a 11-4 fast break point advantage.
Mortensen, Hull and Richard Mincey each had two treys as the Grizzlies were 7 of 20 (35.0) percent from behind the arc. The Mavericks were just 3 of 17 (17.6 percent) from long distance. MSC nearly won the game from the free throw line hitting 14 of 15 (93.3 percent) attempts. ASC went to the line just nine times, making just three.
The Grizzlies, who had dropped three straight home heartbreakers, two of which went to overtime, will now look for a second straight win when they head to the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs on Thursday night. The Mountain Lions were also winless heading into tonightís home game with Colorado State University-Pueblo. ASC will also be on the road next Saturday at New Mexico Highlands University before they will meet the Mavericks once again, on Feb. 11 in Grand Junction.