ASC Sports Information Director
DENVER – Adams State led the 4th-ranked Roadrunners by seven points at halftime, but Metro State chipped away at the Grizzlies lead and with 10 seconds scored the game-winning layup to escape Saturday’s Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) match-up with a 52-51 win.
For the Grizzlies, the loss results in a 12-4 overall record and a record of 9-4 in RMAC play, leaving ASC tied for third in the league standings alongside Nebraska-Kearney. The Roadrunners improve to 17-1 overall and 12-1 in the RMAC with the win, and remain one game ahead of 12th-ranked and second place Colorado Mines, also a winner on Saturday and owner of an 11-2 league record.
In a match-up of the Grizzlies’ RMAC leading offense and the Roadrunners’ league leading defense, the first half featured a poor shooting effort from the field. ASC hit just 36.1 percent (13-for-36) in the first half, but took 12 more shots than Metro State which shot an equally anemic 33.3 percent (8-of-24) in the half.
That gave the Grizzlies a 30-23 lead at the break behind eight first half points from senior Jamiko Verner (Denver, Colo.) who ended the game with nine points, and hit ASC’s lone 3-point field in nine attempts in the first half.
League rebounding leader Jonathan Morse kept the Roadrunners as close as they were at intermission, scoring 12 of Metro State’s 23 in the half. Morse would end with a game-high 16 points and 15 rebounds.
But what seemed like a comfy lead at the break disintegrated quickly. The Roadrunners came out of the break on a 9-0 run, punctuated by a triple from Paul Brotherson that gave them a 32-30 lead with 16:22 to play.
The Grizzlies didn’t get on the board until over four minutes into the second half on a free throw from junior Kaimyn Pruitt (Los Angeles, Calif.),and didn’t score their first field goal of the half until a layup from senior Marqus Richards (Los Angeles, Calif.), who scored a team-high 13 in the game, with 13:38 left in the game. Another Richards layup 45 seconds layup regained the lead but only for a short time.
After bringing the game to a tie for the sixth time with 9:30 to play, senior Shayar Lee (Phoenix, Ariz.) hit a free throw to complete the 3-point play and put ASC back on top.
Adams State would pull ahead by as many as four points during the final nine minutes of the game, but senior Deray Wilson’s (Anchorage, Alaska) layup with 4:30 remaining to put the Grizzlies up by three, 50-47, with 4:30 remaining would be ASC’s final field goal of the game.
A pair of free throws from RMAC scoring leading Reggie Evans, who scored 14 Saturday, was answered by a 1-of-2 trip to the line from Richards with 1:05 left to keep ASC up two, 51-49.
Morse found his way to the charity stripe with 51 seconds left for MSCD, but after missing his second attempt it was the Grizzlies ball with a 1-point lead.
But after the Grizzlies’ 11th and final turnover of the game, the Roadrunners came out of a timeout and Evans laid in with 10 seconds on the clock for the game-winner. The ball was in Wilson’s hands on the final possession, but his shot with no time left on the clock would not go in.
The Grizzlies attempted just one 3-point field in the second half, and were held to just 17 field goal attempts after the break.
The Grizzlies are now just 2-4 on the road this season while owning an 8-0 record at Plachy Hall and 2-0 record in neutral site games.
Adams State will remain on the road for two more games this week. The Grizzlies will travel to Espanola, N.M., for a non-conference contest with Northern New Mexico on Wednesday night, before playing their lone league game of the week against Fort Lewis in Durango Saturday. ASC has beaten both already this season at Plachy, 113-70 over the Eagles on Nov. 21, and 67-62 over the Skyhawks on Dec. 10.