Grizzlies still winless after overtime setback to Western State
Alamosa, Colo.— Adams State College junior Greg Baker scored a career-high 22 points including a game-tying bucket at the end of regulation only to see arch-rival Western State College escape with a 72-69 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference overtime win over the Grizzlies on Friday night in Plachy Hall. The Mountaineers, led by a 22-point effort from Mike Broadnax, won their second straight game for the first time in over three years (Jan. 10-11, 2002) and improved to 2-13 overall and 2-8 in league play. The Grizzlies, who have now dropped nail-biters in each of their last three home games, the last two in overtime, are still looking for their first win and are now 0-18 (0-10 RMAC).
The Grizzlies were down by 14 points with seven minutes left before Baker took over scoring the next five points, three of which came on an old-fashion bucket and converted free throw series. That spurt sparked a 9-1 Grizzly run over the next six-plus minutes as the Mountaineers milked the clock before shooting desperation treys as the shot clock expired.
Held without a field goal for the last 7:01 of regulation after a Broadnax 3-point play, the Mountaineers took a 58-52 lead with under 50 seconds left when Lorens Knudsen hit two free throws.
The Grizzlies’ David Hull answered with a layup just 16 seconds later before a Grizzly trap forced a Mountaineer timeout in the WSC’s defensive corner. Following the timeout, Grizzly redshirt freshman Marcus Mortensen stripped WSC’s Josh Downey on another trap before feeding David Mitchell for a quick bucket that cut the deficit to just 58-56 with 24 seconds left.
Forced to call yet another timeout, their last, the Mountaineers used two more succesful Knudsen free throws before a Mitchell 3-point play from redshirt freshman point guard Larry Charles cut the gap to just one with 11 seconds left.
Broadnax, who was 8 of 11 from the line, then hit the second of two free throws before a Baker drive and fade-away bucket off the glass tied the game at 61 with just 1.1 seconds left in regulation.
Broadnax and Baker each recorded 3-point plays in the early part of the overtime before Broadnax hit two free throws to give WSC a 66-64 lead with 3:07 left. Broadnax, who also had five rebounds, then came up with a rebound after a Jim Bair block before Downey hit three out of his next four free throws attempts to give WSC a 69-64 lead with just 2:09 left.
The teams then traded turnovers before Hull, who had 14 points, hit a clutch 3-pointer off of a Baker assist to close the gap to just two with 1:13 left. WSC’s Ryan Jobe then missed a 3-pointer with just 38 seconds left before Baker lost control of the ball. Broadnax, who came up with the loose ball, then hit two more charity shots giving WSC a 2-possession lead with just 15 seconds left.
Baker then followed a short Hull 3-pointer to cut the gap to 71-69 with just 1.1 seconds left before Baker fouled out as he grabbed Broadnax to stop the clock. Broadnax then hit the first of two free throws before his second rimmed off into the corner as time expired.
The Mountaineers were 9 of 11 (81.8 percent) from the line in the overtime period and were 22 of 31 (71.0 overall). They hit just one field goal but also forced four of ASC’s 24 turnovers to claim the win.
Baker was 10 of 13 from the field and led ASC to a 47.5 percent (28-59) shooting effort. Mitchell was also 5 of 10 and scored 15 points. Dusty Axtell, who fouled out late in regulation, had 12 points and nine rebounds, six of them offensive, to help the Mountaineer cause.
The Grizzlies will attempt to bounce back on Saturday night when they host Mesa State College (10-6, 5-5 RMAC) in an 8 o’clock tip. WSC will head over Wolf Creek Pass to face RMAC West Division leading Fort Lewis College (14-2, 9-1 RMAC) ranked 11th in the nation.