ALAMOSA, Colo. – Adams State converted 19 turnovers by 9th-ranked Colorado Mines in 27 points on Friday night and shot nearly 60 percent from the field never trailed in claiming the Grizzlies’ first win against a top 10 ranked opponent in the program’s Division II era history (1992-93/present), 70-59, at Plachy Hall Friday night.
The win keeps the Grizzlies perfect at home this season at 7-0, and extends their winning streak at Plachy Hall to 12 games extending back to last season. Now 10-3 overall and 7-3 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) play this season, Adams State stands just one game back of Colorado Mines, with records of 12-2 overall and 8-2 in the RMAC, in the league standings.
Friday’s win also marked the second straight at home over CSM, as Adams State topped the then 18th-ranked Orediggers at Plachy Hall on Feb. 19 last season, before falling to them in both the RMAC and NCAA Division II touranments.
The Orediggers came to Plachy Friday as the holders of the longest active winning streak in the league, which included a win over then No. 1-ranked Metro State, and as the RMAC leader in scoring margin, while the Grizzlies league-leading offense was coming off a 2-loss weekend in New Mexico.
Led by senior Marqus Richards (Los Angeles, Calif.), the Grizzlies wasted no time against the Orediggers, and owned a 16-6 lead after less than seven minutes of action. Richards, who would finish with a game-high 17 points, scored nine points during that span, propelling ASC to a 16-6 lead with 13 minutes, 31 seconds left until intermission.
Adams State made seemingly everything in the first half, hitting 14-of-22 (63.6 percent) field goals in the first 20 minutes, as well as all four of its 3-point attempts, two of which came from Richards.
But after storming ahead by 10 points, the Grizzlies committed six of their 18 turnovers in the game and missed three shots over the next five minutes, enabling a 12-2 Colorado Mines run, capped by back-to-back jumpers from Chris Goutama, to tie the game with 8:40 left until the half.
ASC would regain its composure and ended the half with a 33-28 lead.
Foul trouble limited ASC junior Jack Osborn (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia), the Grizzlies’ leading scorer, to just 14 minutes Friday, but the slack was picked up on the inside by junior Kaimyn Pruitt (Los Angeles, Calif.) and senior Shayar Lee (Phoenix, Ariz.). Pruitt and Lee combined to score the first nine Grizzly points of the second half, keeping them just ahead of a motivated Oredigger squad.
Pruitt scored a dozen on Friday, while senior Deray Wilson was the third and final Grizzly in double figures with 10 points, scoring eight of those in the second half. Wilson went 3-of-7 from the field in the game, and led the Grizzlies with four made free throws as ASC outshot Colorado Mines, 66.7 percent (14-of-21) to 56.3 percent (9-of-16) from the charity stripe in the game.
Senior Robby Hanzlik (Denver, Colo.) and Lee each scored nine in the game, but it was a Hanzlik 3-pointer that put the game seemingly out of reach. The Orediggers closed the gap to one point (46-45) with 9:21 to play, but Hanzlik answered back with a triple on the Grizzlies’ next trip down the court to push the lead back out to four points, and CSM would never get within one possession of ASC again.
Brett Green, the No. 2 leading scorer in the league, was one point shy of his season average with 16 points, while Trevor Wages bucketed 12 and Luck Meisch added another 10. Those three combined for 38 of the Orediggers’ 59 points.
The two teams combined to commit 24 of their 37 turnovers in the first half, while also swiping 13 of 19 steals in the game during that span. ASC senior Jamiko Verner (Denver, Colo.), the league leader in steals, had four in the game while dishing out six of Adams State’s 12 assists.
Now one game back of the Orediggers in the RMAC standings, as well as one game ahead of a 3-way tie for third between Nebraska-Kearney, Fort Lewis and UC-Colorado Springs, the Grizzlies will host Colorado Christian Saturday night.
The Cougars fell to 2-12 overall and 1-9 in the RMAC with a 62-76 loss to Fort Lewis in Durango on Friday night. CCU has now lost two straight since they snapped a 7-game losing streak with a win over Regis on Jan. 6.
Fans of both the Grizzlies and Broncos are invited to come out to Plachy Hall Saturday, where the ASC Athletics Department has announced that the Broncos playoff game against the New England Patriots will be shown on the screen in the Dr. Joe I. Vigil Hall of Fame Room. The Grizzly women and the Broncos are set to tip- and kick-off at 6 p.m.
Adams State supporters unable to be with the Grizzlies as they take on the Cougars can follow the action by checking out live stats, or watching at subscription-based America One. KSPK’s broadcast of the Grizzly men’s and women’s games on Saturday will be aired on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m. with Grizzly Connect and the pre-game show, due to conflicts with the Broncos game.