Grizzlies up end RMAC-leading Metro State, Face FLC on Saturday

Chris Day
ASC Sports Information

Sophomore Jack Osborn scored a team-high 14 points, including 11 in the second half, as the Adams State College Grizzlies came from as many as 13 down to knock off Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference leading Metro State College, 59-54, before a loud “Whiteout Night” crowd of 1,764, Saturday night here in Plachy Hall.
The Grizzlies hit just one of their first 13 and two of their first 17 shots in a slow start but heated up to a respectable 11-for-23 (47.8 percent) shooting effort in the second half while clamping down on the Roadrunner attack as the visitors connected on just 7 of 24 second-half shots (29.2 percent).
The Grizzlies also came up with 12 total steals and forced 21 Roadrunner turnovers while holding Reggie Evans, the RMAC’s second leading scorer to just five points on a 1-for-11 field goal shooting effort.
In the process, the Grizzlies improved to 13-3 overall and to 10-3 in conference play with their third straight and seventh win in the last eight.  Meanwhile, the Roadrunners saw their RMAC-leading 11-game winning streak snapped while falling to 14-3 overall and to 11-2 in RMAC play.
However, the Roadrunners, receiving votes in the latest NABC Division II Coaches’ Poll, still lead the RMAC by one game over three teams, including the Grizzlies.  Colorado Mines, a 66-55 winner at Western State, and Fort Lewis, a 76-56 home victory over Regis, are also tied for second, just a game back.
Fort Lewis, 14-3 overall, will venture into Plachy Hall next Saturday at 8 p.m.
Down 22-9 with just over six minutes to play in the first half, the Grizzlies made just their third field goal of the game when Robby Hanzlik hit a 3-pointer moments before he stole the ball from Metro’s  A.J. Flournoy.
Hanzlik then missed a lay-up on the fast-break although Marqus Richards followed it up with a tip-in as the Grizzlies were suddenly back within eight.
The Roadrunners then went back up by 10 on Evans’ lone field goal of the night before the Grizzlies went on another 7-1 run to cut the deficit to just four (25-21).
Trailing 32-24 at the half and by seven (38-31) after a Flournoy 3-pointer with 15:33 left in the game, the Grizzlies then quickly went on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 38.
The Roadrunners would build back a 3-point lead in the defensive back-and-forth battle before a Wilson bank-shot with 5:10 left tied the game at 49 moments after Flournoy had broken a 47-47 dead-lock with a bucket of his own.
The Grizzlies then received two Seth Heinbaugh free throws to go up 51-47 and added another free Heinbaugh free throw to go up by five with 1:48 left.
The Roadrunners would not go away and pulled to within 52-49 with 1:26 left thanks to Quaran Johnson, who had a game-high 16 points to pace the Roadrunners.
The Grizzlies then broke the ensuing trap but were guilty of a travelling violation.
Evans then converted on the first of two free throws with 1:01 left before missing the second free throw.
However, the Roadrunners, down just 52-50 at the time, grabbed the offensive rebound.
Evans, who was averaging 18.4 points per game coming in, then saw his 3-pointer go awry before a Osborn dunk doubled the Grizzlies lead to four (54-50) with just 37 seconds left.
Evans would draw a foul on the opposite end and converted on both free throws to slice the deficit to two.
However, Hanzlik, the Grizzlies top charity striper at 89.7 percent, answered with two free throws of his own to put the Grizzlies back up by four (56-52).
Johnson then misfired on a shot at the Roadrunner end as Shayar Lee grabbed the rebound for the Grizzlies.
Lee was then thrown down to the ground by Brandon Jefferson, who was whistled for the intentional foul.
The Grizzlies then hit three of their final four free throws to go up 59-52 before Johnson capped the scoring with seven seconds left.
Hanzlik joined Osborn as the only other Grizzly in double figures with 10 points.  Meanwhile, Henibaugh chipped in eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Jefferson and Flournoy had 10 points each for the Roadrunners while Jonathan Morse was just a point shy of a double-double after grabbing a whopping 16 rebounds, eight on each end.  He had 12 of those at the half.
Jamiko Verner and Hanzlik had three steals each for the Grizzlies while the Roadrunners came up with just two as a team, both of which were credited to Flournoy.
The Grizzlies are now 7-1 at home this season and 11-1 over the last dozen games in front of a home crowd, dating back to last season.
They will play six of their final 10 at home, including next week’s monstrous showdown with Fort Lewis, which handed the Grizzlies’ their first loss of the season after a 5-0 start back on Dec. 11. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet