PUEBLO, Colo. – The Grizzlies held the lead entering the final minute of the second half and each overtime period against Colorado State-Pueblo on Saturday, but the ThunderWolves fought back each time and ended the game on a 3-pointer from Ty Trahern with no time left in double-overtime to take a 99-98 victory.
After taking sole possession of second place in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) with a win last night in conjunction with a loss from No. 11 Metro State, the Grizzlies are now back in third, one half game back of the Roadrunners at 13-5 in conference, and are now 2 ½ games back of No. 5 Colorado Mines. The ThunderWolves improved to 12-10 overall and 9-9 in the RMAC with the win, ninth in the league standings.
Regulation ended with the score knotted at 77-77 thanks to a Trahern layup with 43 seconds left, the ThunderWolves only field goal over the final 2:24.
Field goals remained difficult to come by for CSU-P in the first overtime but going 6-of-8 from the free throw line kept the ThunderWolves within one possession throughout.
Free throws kept CSU-Pueblo in the game all night, hitting 24-of-33 (72.7 percent), including 13 in the two overtime periods, while ASC hit just 23-of-40 (57.5 percent).
A layup by junior Jack Osborn (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia), who scored 19 points in the game, with 35 seconds left put ASC up, 84-82. CSU-Pueblo’s Andre Martin cut it to one point with 1-for-2 trip to the line, but senior Robby Hanzlik (Denver, Colo.) made it a 3-point game after hitting both of his free throws with 14 ticks remaining.
However, Bryse Velasquez had the answer, and with three seconds to play hit a game-tying triple to make it 86-86. The Grizzlies called a timeout on the in-bounds, but junior Kaimyn Pruitt’s (Los Angeles, Calif.) desperation three with no time left wouldn’t go, and on to the second overtime they went.
Double overtime started with Adams State scoring on its first three possessions, layups from Osborn and senior Marqus Richards (Los Angeles, Calif.), as well as a pair of made free throws from senior Deray Wilson (Anchorage, Alaska), to take a 6-point lead (92-86) with 2:40 left.
Adams State and the ThunderWolves then spent the majority of the next 1:20 at the free throw line. CSU-Pueblo hit 7-of-10 during that span compared to just 3-of-8 for ASC, before the ThunderWolves first field goal of the second overtime, a 3-pointer from Trahern with 82 seconds to play, put the home team on top 96-95.
Richards, who matched the Grizzlies’ season-high with 26 points in the game for the second time this year, brought the game to a tie for the 16th time with 47 seconds to play.
But the ThunderWolves continued to send Richards to the charity stripe, and he hit just three of six in the final minute.
After Richards missed his second of two free throws with just 11 seconds left, the ThunderWolves took control. No timeout was called, and Trahern put up a prayer with no time left to give CSU-Pueblo the win.
Trahern’s game-winner was the ninth made triple of the game for the ThunderWolves and his own fourth en route to a game-high 34 points.
ASC saw five players reach double figures for the second night in a row. Behind Richards’ 26 and Osborn’s 19, Wilson accounted for 12, Hanzlik bucketed 11 and Verner put up 10 points before fouling out.
Verner, the Division II leader in steals, had his second consecutive five swipe night, leading a Grizzly defensive effort that recorded eight takeaways but forced just 10 turnovers.
The contest was the Grizzlies first overtime game of the year, but second double overtime game in the last two seasons. In last year’s RMAC Shootout Quarterfinals, the Grizzlies topped New Mexico Highlands in double overtime at Plachy Hall.
Saturday’s loss ended a 3-game road winning streak for Adams State, and the Grizzlies will be on the road for two more before concluding the regular season back on their home court.
Next weekend, Colorado Christian and 5th-ranked Colorado Mines await the Grizzlies on Friday and Saturday. Adams State won earlier meetings against both in January, but will have to battle 20-2 Oredigger squad that boats the league’s longest winning streak of eight straight in Golden, Colo.