Mountaineers shut down ASC to sweep season series
Gunnison, Colo.— The Western State College Mountaineers held the Adams State College Grizzlies to just 16 second half points and without a field goal over the last 5:33 to overcame a 7-point halftime deficit en-route to 56-46 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference win on Saturday night in the Paul W. Wright Gymnasium. The win allowed the Mountaineers, led by 16 Lorens Knudsen points, to complete a season series sweep for the first time in five years. WSC also improved to 4-17 overall and to 3-12 in RMAC action. ASC dropped to 2-21 overall and 2-13 in league play.
The Grizzlies, who committed 10 turnovers in the second half and 14 overall, were held under the 50-point mark for the fourth time this season. The 46 points that they scored was the fewest since Feb. 7, 2004 at Mesa State College, when they scored 45.
Neither team shot the ball well with WSC holding a slight 36.7 to 33.3 percent edge. The Mountaineers did go to the free throw line seven more times, making seven more charity shots.
Sophomore David Hull hit three treys in the first half but was held without a field goal in the second half. The 6-foot-3 guard did manage a team-high 11 points. Senior forward David Mitchell pulled down a game and season-high 11 rebounds as ASC recorded a 40-34 edge on the glass.
The Grizzlies led by 10 points with 7:39 to go in the first half when Marcus Mortensen hit ASC's only other 3-pointer of the night. Kundsen, who had eight points in each half for WSC, then knocked down a pair of 3-balls spread around a Greg Baker putback before Hull knocked down a trey of his own to give ASC a 24-15 lead with 5:16 to go in the first half.
Trailing 30-23 at halftime, the Mountaineers hit two of their first three shots as ASC went scoreless for more than four minutes. Suddenly it was just a 2-point ball-game before Jim Bair knotted the game at 36 with two free throws at the 11:42 mark. The Grizzlies then went up 43-38 with some strong defense and key offensive rebounds.
The Grizzlies had a 45-40 lead before they went scoreless in three straight possessions around the 5-minute mark The Mountaineers converted the new-found opportunity into six points and took their first lead of the game on a Mike Broadnax 3-point play with 4:52 left.
ASC tied the game with a Baker free throw with 3:48 left but went scoreless the rest of the way as a Bair layup gave WSC the lead for good with 3:20 left. The Grizzlies then committed turnovers on their next three possessions, managing just one shot, as a Broadnax bucket and two Kundsen free throws gave WSC a 52-46 lead with 1:24 to go.
The Grizzlies shot at a 36.7 percent (11-30) clip in the first half and knocked down all four of their 3-pointers. The 23 points they allowed in that period were equal to the lowest that they have given up in the first 20 minutes of a game this year. ASC shot just 28.6 percent (6-21) from the floor in the second half.
Meanwhile, WSC warmed to a 41.7 percent (10-24) shooting effort after knocking down eight of 25 (32.0 percent) of its shots in the first period.
The Grizzlies, who were credited with just five assists, have now lost 21 games in a single season for the first time since 1986-87, when the then ASC Indians went 5-22. They will now finish their campaign with four straight home games starting on Friday against New Mexico Highlands University (9-14, 7-8 RMAC). Tip-off is at 8 p.m. and can be heard on KSPK-FM (103.5 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com.