Bustos Grabs All-Time ASC Scoring Record in Senior Night Victory

Scott Kretzmann
ASC Sports Information

Senior Vera Jo Bustos cemented her status as one of ASC women’s basketball all-time greats by taking over the school’s career scoring record with her 1,719th point during her final regular-season game at Plachy Hall, as the Grizzlies celebrated Senior Night with an 81-52 win over Colorado Mines.
The win ups the Grizzlies’ record to 18-8 overall and 13-7 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play, and they remain tied for fourth in the league  alongside Mesa State after having clinched a spot into the league tournament on Friday night.
The Mavericks, who topped Western State in their only weekend game on Saturday night, and the Grizzlies stand one game ahead of Colorado St.-Pueblo for fifth and one game behind Colorado Christian for third. ASC and Mesa State will duke it out next Friday night in a game that will help decide who will host the RMAC Shootout first-round game.
For Bustos, the all-time career scoring mark came with 15 minutes, 25 seconds remaining in the second half. After entering the game 17 points shy of equaling the mark of Dominique Skeehan, an ASC Athletics Hall of Famer, Bustos hit four 3-pointers and scored 16 points in the first half to leave little doubt that the record would fall before the game was over.
Bustos’ 16 first half points, as well nine from junior Kelsie Kruger in the opening 20 minutes, helped the Grizzlies to take a 40-19 advantage into the break.
But the career scoring mark wasn’t the only record to fall on Saturday. Bustos made her 92nd career start which tops the Grizzlies NCAA Division II era (1992-93/present) in that category, and senior Kendra Coveal became Adams State’s D-II era games played record holder by playing in her 111th career contest.
Coveal continued her recent string of stellar performances, and helped ASC stay well ahead by bucketing 17 in the second half. Two weeks ago, 21 points would have equaled Coveal’s career-best, but on Saturday it just gave Coveal her fourth straight game with at least 20 points. She hit 7-of-9 field goals in the contest and was 7-of-8 from the free throw line while grabbing eight boards and dishing out six assists.
After a Katie Carty put the Orediggers up by three with 15:43 left in the first, Coveal would spark a 16-0 ASC run that would put the Grizzlies ahead for the rest of the game, and the advantage wouldn’t drop below 11 points the rest of the way.
Senior Ruchelle McCracken, who started her 20th straight game on Friday, was good for four points on Saturday. She also grabbed four boards and handed out a pair of assists in the game.
Senior Crystal Loch scored just one point on Saturday, but dished out six helpers and help the Grizzlies limit the Orediggers to 18-of-58 (31.0 percent) shooting from the field while Adams State hit 28-of-57 (49.1 percent).
Brecca Gaffney, the RMAC’s second leading scorer, was good for 17 point in the game, but shot just 4-of-18 from the field. A stifling Adams State defense held the CSM scoreless for nearly nine minutes during the middle of the first half.
The Grizzlies lead reached as high as 30 points (59-29) with 9:45 left in the game on a layup from junior Chloe Cable. Cable was impressive in all facets against CSM, grabbing a season-high 11 boards while scoring nine, rejecting three Oredigger shots and grabbing three steals.
Kruger would also end the game in double-figures, tallying 15 points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes of action before fouling out.
And sophomore Deanna Reich would score nine points on 4-of-4 from the field while hitting her lone free throw attempts in just eight minutes of action.
With their sixth straight win, the longest streak of the season for ASC, the Grizzlies keep their hopes alive for scoring back-to-back 20-win seasons and just second in the program’s D-II history.
The Grizzlies hit the road for their final weekend of the regular season next Friday and Saturday, facing Mesa State and Western State.

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