The Paw Print
The Adams State Grizzly men defeated the Northern New Mexico Eagles in a 113-70 rout last Monday night. A fast, powerful offense aided by a strong inside game helped the Grizzlies take the visitors with ease, outscoring the Eagles 60-44 in the first half.
After winning the jump, Adams State took off running, starting with two points from Jack Osborn and getting to double digits before the Eagles responded with a pair of free throws three minutes in.
Northern New Mexico fought hard to get back in the game, capitalizing on missed free throw opportunities by the Grizzlies, and gained the lead 23-22 on a 3-pointer from Lazar Cvijovic. This brief, one-point margin would be the only lead the Eagles saw all night.
Adams State responded by accelerating the pace of the game and implementing a three quarter zone press that put the New Mexico offense in shambles. A wide-open lay-up from James Lake marked the beginning of a 10-2 run by the Grizzlies, who never looked back.
The Grizzlies shot an impressive 60 percent from the field in the first period, contributing to their 16-point lead at the half. While the Eagles were 11 for 11 at the foul line, they shot less than 50 percent from the field and rampant turnovers resulted in less offensive attempts.
“We have a group of young guys who play very hard,” said Grizzlies head coach Louis Wilson. “We were not disciplined on defense during the first half. In the second half, we focused on defense first and demonstrated more patience on the offensive end.”
The second half held no relief for the visiting team. Strong Grizzly defense resulted in a shot-clock violation, and Robby Hanzlik took the opportunity to bury one from behind the arc, one of three hits from outside for Hanzlik on the night. In the next five minutes Adams State outscored the Eagles 25-7, putting the score at 86-56 with 13 minutes left to play.
Game in hand, the Grizzlies continued to play hard, scrambling to take charges and block shots throughout the second half. Adams State’s field goal percentage in the second period was an incredible 65.5 percent, shooting 60 percent from 3-point land.
The Grizzlies had six players in double digits. Deray Wilson and Marcus Richards both put up 10, John Jackson 12, and Shayar Lee matched Hanzlik’s 13. Osborn led the team with a career high of 23 points along with two swats and a pair of steals.
Shaheed Young dished out 10 assists, and Kaimyn Pruitt took rebounding honors with 6 boards. As a team the Grizzlies compiled 36 assist and 19 steals while the Eagles turned the ball over 32 times and only had 8 steals for the night.
“I don’t care about the score in non-conference games, it’s about getting better,” said Coach Wilson, who expects to see tougher competition this week. The visitors are likely to try slowing down the game but Wilson’s offensive philosophy remains the same: “Attack, attack, attack!”
Adams State, with a 3-0 record, will face 3-1 CSU Pueblo on Friday, Dec. 2, in Plachy Hall. This will be the first conference game of the season, with the Thunderwolves coming off a pair of tight wins versus Dixie State and Southern Virginia.