Balanced Mavs dominate glass in 85-65 win
Grand Junction, Colo.— Sophomore David Hull and senior David Mitchell combined for 33 points but could not stop a balanced and physical Mesa State College team from avenging a tight 48-45 loss less than a fortnight ago as the Mavericks scored a 85-65 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference win over the visiting Adams State College Grizzlies on Friday night in MSC's Brownson Arena. The Mavericks had five players in double figures and committed just eight turnovers as they improved to 13-7 overall and 8-6 in RMAC action. The Grizzlies, who claimed their first win of the season against MSC on Jan. 29 in Alamosa, fell to 2-20 overall and to 2-12 in the loop.
Hull, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Belen, N.M., was 5 of 9 from the floor and scored 17 points to lead ASC's cause. Mitchell was 7 of 13 from the floor and added 16 points.
Shooting was not the problem for ASC. Rebounding was.
The Mavericks dominated the glass pulling down 23 offensive rebounds as they blue a 4-point game wide open in the last six minutes of the first half. Using a 12-4 run over that span, MSC took a 41-29 lead into the locker room. The Mavericks then built that lead to 20 points by scoring 10 of the first 12 points of the second half before Hull scored nine straight points over the the next 1:52 to close the gap to 11.
The Grizzlies would get no closer as Jarred Perry, Darnell Jones and Jeremy Cummings buckets spread around an ASC free throw by Larry Charles, put MSC up with 17 with 12:44 left. The Mavericks then simply cruised the rest of the way as 13 Mavericks saw action in their third straight win, all of which have come at home.
Andy Classick, a 6-foot-8 senior who averaged a team-high 13.5 points per game coming in, led the way with a game-high 18 points. He also added six rebounds, four of them on the offensive end. Senior forward Dwayne Horn added a double-double with 11 points and as many rebounds while Cummings, Jones and Tony Qorri scored 12 points a piece. Horn and Qorri, who also had a game-high five assists, had six offensive rebounds each. ASC had just eight as a team.
The 47-30 total rebounding disadvantage that the Grizzlies suffered was uncharacteristic. The Grizzlies had outrebounded their opponents in 12 of the last 14 games. ASC had a small shooting advantage canning 44.7 percent (21-47) of its shots from the field. The Mavericks made 30 of their 70 attempts, a 42.9 percent success rate. The 70 field goal attempts that ASC allowed were the most since Metro State College took 76 on Dec. 12, 2003.
The Grizzlies also did a decent job from 3-point territory as they hit 5 of 12 (41.7 percent). MSC was just 9 of 28 (32.1 percent) from behind the arc.
ASC took a 3-0 lead after 2:05 before a 8-0 Maverick run, which Qorri started and ended, gave MSC the lead for good. All 12 of Qorri's poitns came in the first half, a period in which ASC shot 50.0 percent (10 of 20) but committed 10 turnovers.
The loss gave the Grizzlies, who have not tasted victory in Grand Junction since 1998, just their third 20-loss season in the 13-year NCAA Division II era. ASC will attempt to avoid a 21-loss season for the first time in that era on Saturday night when they face arch-rival Western State College in Gunnison. The Mountaineers, who posted a 72-69 overtime win over ASC on Jan. 28 in Plachy Hall, are 3-17 (2-12 RMAC) after a 89-65 home loss to the nation's 14th-ranked Fort Lewis College Skyhawks on Friday. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. following the women's game between the same teams. The game can be heard on KSPK-FM (103.5 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.