Women’s Best Division-II Era Season Ends in Championship Game

Reggie Thompson
The Paw Print

The eighth-seeded Adams State’s women’s basketball team came just short of advancing to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II Tournament after suffering a 40-36 loss to second-seeded, tenth ranked Metropolitan State College of Denver on March 14.  
This was the third meeting for the two teams this season and each time, Metro State has come out on top.
Approximately, the first 10 minutes of the game, Adams State had complete control, leading Metro State 20-6 9 minutes, 9 seconds into the ballgame. ASC played athletic defense, holding off Metro’s offensive attempts and allowing them to score a miserable 19.4% of their shots (6 made – 31 attempts).  Senior forward Kendra Coeval had a good first half offensively, leading all scorers with 12 first half points.
A Roadrunner 15-4 run from that point to the conclusion of the first half brought the team back as the halftime score became 24-21, with the Grizzlies leading.  All-Conference forward Cassondra Bratton was significant to the run, with her seven points during the stretch.
The second half proved to be an absolute turnaround for Metro State.  A layup by Bratton, 2-point jumper by Kristin Valencia, and a successful 3-point attempt for Brandi Valencia sparked 21-4 run that lasted for 10 minutes, 58 seconds.  For the entirety of the half, the Roadrunners improved their field goal percentage to 45.8 percent (11-24) and outscored the Grizzlies 28-12.
It was here that Adams State took their turn to shoot poorly.  They went 4-21 from the floor (19.0 precent), this in part to the Roadrunners shutting down ASC’s Coveal, who, after a hot first half, scored only 2 points in the second.  Metro State also effectively guarded senior guard Vera Jo Bustos. The unanimous All-Conference selection, who was good for 29 points in the previous game against Northern State, shot a surprisingly poor 20% (2-10) from the floor in the second half and scored just seven points for the entire game against Metro State.
Bratton ended the game leading all scorers with 21 points and tied teammate K. Valencia with 10 total rebounds.
To reach this game, Adams State won their first postseason game since the Adams States NCAA Div. II era (1992-1993/present) as they upset Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Champion, #1 seed, and Central Region host, Fort Lewis College on March 11 in a thrilling comeback, 77-66 OT (overtime), then convincingly took down fourth-seeded Northern State College, 66-49, on March 11.

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