Jensen takes over as ASC wins big overtime game at Western
GUNNISON, Colo.— Wes Jensen (Molalla, Ore.) scored a career-high 21 points and tallied the last six of the game as the Adams State College Grizzlies picked up a critical 63-58 overtime victory at arch-rival Western State, Saturday night in the Paul W. Wright Gymnasium.
The Grizzlies rallied back from as many as seven down in the second half and from three down in the final 30 seconds to force overtime when Rajshad Anderson (Lewisville, Texas) grabbed an offensive rebound before tying the game at 52 with just three seconds left in regulation
The Mountaineers then took the second of their two leads on a a Carleton Goggins jumper with less than two minutes left in overtime before Jensen hit a 3-pointer with 1:35 left giving the Grizzlies a 60-58 lead.
Goggins, who had a team-best 18 points for the Mountaineers, then missed two free throws before Greg Baker (Lewisville, Texas) was called for charging with 50 seconds to go.
After a missed Mountaineer 3-point attempt, Jensen gave ASC a 62-58 lead with two clutch free throws before icing the game, ASC’s first road win in six weeks, with another late tally.
“Wes (Jensen) had a big game,” Grizzly Coach Larry Mortensen said afterwards. “But, without Rajshad (Anderson) hitting that shot, it’s a different game and outcome.”
Jensen was 5 of 7 from the floor and hit all three of his long distance calls. He also was a solid 8 of 11 from the charity stripe while grabbing a game-high eight rebounds.
Junior Roman Moniak (Sacramento, Calif.) scored 17 points while Baker contributed 14 points and seven rebounds. Anderson, not in the starting lineup for the first time in five games scored five points, including the biggest two.
Cutting Western’s lead to a bucket with 2:27 to go, the Grizzlies went scoreless on their next two possessions before Mike Annese converted a Mountaineer offensive rebound by making one of two free throws giving the hosts a 52-49 lead with 49 seconds left.
Moniak then hit one of two free throws after an Annese foul with 21 seconds left before Western’s Zach Smith missed two key free throws giving the Grizzlies a chance.
However, Marcus Mortensen (Cortez, Colo.) missed a layup before Anderson grabbed the rebound going around the right side of the defense to hit the equalizing jumper.
The teams traded free throws in overtime before Goggins gave the Mountaineers a 56-55 lead midway through the extra period. Moniak answered right back to give Adams a 57-56 lead before Goggins turned an Annese pass into a field goal as the Mountaineers went up for the final time as Jensen took over for the Grizzlies.
The Mountaineers were 21 of 32 (65.6 percent) from the free throw line throughout the game but hit just two of their final eight in the final minute of regulation and overtime. The Grizzlies were 16 of 25 (64.0 percent) on the evening but hit 9 of their last 12.
The Grizzlies shot at a 52.6 percent (10-for-19) clip from the field in the first half and led 25-19 at the break. Adams State held the Mountaineers to just six points in the last 13:32 of the first half outscoring them 18-6 in that time.
The Mountaineers came roaring back— behind a 9-3 run to open the half— taking their first lead since the 8-minute mark of the first half on a David Goodenberger put-back layup with 9:14 to go in regulation.
Watching that lead grow to seven (43-36) less that two minutes later, Jensen started the Grizzly comeback with the a 3-pointer before a Baker dunk suddenly made it a two point game with 6:05 to go.
Neither team led by more than five the rest of the way.
The Grizzlies dominated the glass 37-23 and had a commanding 18-7 edge in the first half. They also out-shot the Mountaineers 46.7 (21-for-45) to 36.4 (16-for-44) percent but watched Goggins and Devin Royer combine for 18 points in the second half.
Jensen was held to just one 3-pointer in the first half but hit all three of his field goal attempts while scoring 12 points in the second.
The Grizzlies are now 8-11 overall and 5-6 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play, two full games ahead of the Mountaineers (7-11, 3-8 RMAC), who will venture into Plachy Hall for a re-match on Feb. 10.
Adams State will host New Mexico Highlands and UC-Colorado Springs next weekend, the first two games of an all-important 4-game homestand. The Grizzlies, in position for a RMAC Tournament berth, will play their final four games of the regular season away from Plachy Hall, where they are 5-2 with a double-overtime loss to now RMAC West Division-leading Fort Lewis (12-6, 8-3 RMAC), which scored a 63-52 win at former co-leading Mesa State (13-6, 7-4 RMAC) on Saturday.
New Mexico Highlands (8-10, 4-7 RMAC) is just one game behind the Grizzlies in the West Division standings after picking up a 68-66 overtime win at Colorado State-Pueblo (7-12, 3-8 RMAC).
“Now, these home games mean a lot more,” coach Mortensen said. We still have to play some good basketball and get this thing going.”