ASC Sports Information
Senior Kendra Coveal improved upon a one-day-old career-high on Saturday as she scored 29 points on 10-of-11 field goals to lead a Grizzly mauling of Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) rival Colorado State-Pueblo by 51 points, 96-45, in Plachy Hall.
The Grizzlies entered the game tied for sixth in the league standings with the ThunderWolves, who entered the weekend ranked 10th in the NCAA Division II Centra Region rankings. But ASC, now 16-8 overall and 11-7 in the RMAC, dropped CSU-Pueblo to seventh in the league with 13-9 overall and 10-8 league records.
But the Grizzlies didn’t just take over the No. 6 spot in the league standings, they moved up into fifth in the RMAC thanks to a Nebraska-Kearney which drops the Lopers ½ game back of Adams State.
After putting up a career-high 27 to help the Grizzlies pull out a last-second victory over UC-Colorado Springs on Friday, Coveal stayed hot on Saturday night and paced the Grizzlies to a 46-24 halftime lead over the ThunderWolves.
ASC hit 20-of-32 (62.5 percent) field goals in the first half while the ThunderWolves struggled to the tune of 8-for-29 (27.6 percent).
The Grizzlies would shoot 59.7 percent (37-62) for the game, which ranks No. 2 in the program’s NCAA Division II era (1992-93/present), largely on account of an ASC D-II era record 32 assists against the ThunderWolves.
Adams State hit five of its first seven field goals and took a 12-0 lead with 16 minutes, 50 seconds to play in the first half before CSU-Pueblo would get on the board thanks a 3-point play from Rachel Espinoza who scored 10 in the game.
The ThunderWolves would get as close as 20-14 with 12:51 before the break thanks to a pair of free throws from their leading scorer, Kendall Babler, who scored 14. But ASC would end the half on a 26-14 run.
Coveal, who set the Grizzlies’ D-II era record by hitting all 11 of her field goals on Friday night, was 7-of-8 at halftime against CSU-Pueblo with 15 points before hitting all three of her shots in the second half and 8-of-9 free throws after the break. Her 29 points matches the eighth highest total in the program’s D-II era.
Saturday night was also Coeval’s 10th double-double of the season, as she and junior Kelsie Kruger each grabbed 10 boards, and the duo paced the Grizzlies to a 56-17 advantage in rebounds. ASC dominated the inside on offense as well, scoring 56 points in the paint to the ThunderWolves 24.
After a rare single-digit scoring performance, senior Vera Jo Bustos accounted for 24 points and led the way for ASC with nine assists, a new career-high and tied for ninth most in the D-II era for the Grizzlies. Bustos also grabbed eight rebounds on Saturday.
Kruger added eight points and was nearly on pace with Bustos in dishing out a career-high eight assists to go along with her 10 rebounds.
The ThunderWolves looked to have little momentum in cutting the Grizzly lead to 19 points early in the second half, but the Grizzlies used a 28-5 run over the next 8:36 to grab an insurmountable 42-point lead (77-35) with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Senior Ruchelle McCracken was good for eight points, all within the first five minutes of the game, and added seven rebounds. Junior Briana Benjamin was also good for eight points off the bench while adding seven caroms and four assists.
In just her second game since November, junior Chloe Cable was responsible for seven points and seven rebounds, and got in on all the sharing of the ball with a pair of assists.
Adams State’s 51-point margin of victory and 96 points were both season highs, and the Grizzlies’ best in both categories since a 101-35 victory over Northern New Mexico on Nov. 20, 2009.
The Grizzlies’ current four-game winning streak is one off their season long of five, which spanned from Nov. 14-27. They’ll try to equal and surpass that five-game streak next weekend as they close out their home portion of the season against Colorado Christian and Colorado Mines on Feb. 18-19.
On Friday, ASC hosts Colorado Christian which improved to 14-4 in league play with a 73-56 over the Orediggers on Saturday night. The Cougars sit at third in the RMAC standings, and escaped the Grizzlies in Lakewood on Jan. 15 with a 68-66 victory on a last-second layup.
The Grizzlies then play their final game of the regular season at Plachy on Saturday evening against CSM, whom the Grizzlies topped 72-54 on Jan. 14.
Bustos, who already owns the ASC D-II era career record for points, will enter next weekend’s final home match-ups just 36 points from the Grizzlies’ all-time record of 1,718 points.