The Adams State College Grizzlies men’s basketball team continued Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record play on Saturday afternoon against the Metro State Roadrunners, but did not fare as well as they did the previous night, dropping the contest 90-74 at the Auraria Events Center in Denver.
In a game marred by 23 Grizzly turnovers, and poor shooting from both the free throw line and from 3-point range, the Grizzlies found themselves hanging tough in the first half. The only Grizzly lead of the afternoon came on the first shot attempted from the field, a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Robby Hanzlik only 43 seconds into the contest.
The Grizzlies received a very strong effort on the afternoon from true freshman forward Nick Fox, who tallied 24 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the field and 10-of-11 from the free throw line in only 21 minutes of play off the bench. No other Grizzlies reached double digits in points, with the next closest player in the scoring column being senior guard Xavier Lewis, who had nine points in the game.
Fox’s 24 points were the most scored by any freshman for the Grizzlies since 2004, when then redshirt freshman David Hull scored the same amount against the New Mexico Highlands Cowboys.
The Roadrunners got off to a strong start, carrying a solid lead for the majority of the first half in spite of their abysmal 36 percent shooting mark in the first half. The Grizzlies fared much better, connecting on almost 46 percent of their attempts from the field, but did attempt 15 fewer shots than the Roadrunners did.
As a result of the solid shooting effort from the Grizzlies in the first half, particularly in the closing minutes before halftime, the Roadrunners were only able to hold the Grizzlies to a five point lead entering the break.
The Roadrunners came out the half and used the home court to their advantage over the undoubtedly fatigued Grizzlies. The Roadrunners initially traded scoring possessions with the Grizzlies in the opening minutes of the second half, and just as it began to look like the game would continue to be hard fought down to the wire, fatigue set in for the Grizzlies. The Roadrunners’ athleticism and the costly turnovers by the Grizzlies set the Roadrunners on the path to victory.
The Grizzlies were able to cut the lead to four points at the 17:37 mark early in the second half, but would get no closer the rest of the way. The Roadrunners opened up a lead as large as 19 points with only 5:14 remaining in the game.
The Roadrunners had four players score in double figures, led by sophomore guard Reggie Evans with 24 points. Freshman forward Jonathan Morse added a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds. Senior guard Brian Minor and junior guard Dante Nicholas added 19 points and 16 points, respectively.
The Roadrunners continued dominating their home court, winning their 23rd consecutive home game. The Roadrunners improved to 5-1 on the season, and have opened RMAC play with a 2-0 record.
The Grizzlies fell to 3-4 overall, are now 1-1 in RMAC play, and return home to play Nebraska-Kearney on Friday, Dec. 11, and Chadron State on Saturday, Dec. 12.