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Grizzlies set to clash with D-I Rams on Saturday

Posted: Thursday, Dec 27th, 2012

Sophomore Justin Kauffman (10) scored 10 points to help lead the Grizzlies to a 5-point win over Colorado Mesa last week and hopes to help the Grizzlies defeat Division I's Colorado State University on Saturday.

Courier Sports Editor

FORT COLLINS—The Adams State Grizzlies look to remain perfect on the season and improve their season record to 8-0 on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Fort Collins to take on the Division I Colorado State University Rams in Moby Arena. Tip off is slated for 2:30 p.m.

The Rams enter the contest with a 10-2 overall record and are a perfect 6-0 at home and are fresh off a huge 88-52 win over Virgina Tech for the Las Vegas Classic championship. That game was on Sunday night in Las Vegas.

The Grizzlies, who have outscored their opponents 573-503, return to action 13 days after they defeated rivals Western State and Colorado Mesa. The two wins has Adams State sitting at 7-0 of the second straight year under third-year head coach Louis Wilson.

A win over the Rams could help the Grizzlies enter the Top 25 of the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches)/Division II Men’s Basketball Poll. The Grizzlies received 31 points and has them sitting at No. 26, six places higher than the poll before where they sat, hypothetically, No. 32. The 31 points is just two points shy of Alaska-Anchorage for the 25th spot. The Grizzlies’ win over Colorado Mesa, which was receiving votes in the previous week’s poll, has not been figured in.

The Rams are not ranked in the Top 25 of any of the major polls in Division I, however, they are ranked No. 23 in the Division for RPI, according to StatSheet.com.

The Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) is a formula used by the NCAA to aide in selecting and seeding teams for the NCAA Tournament. RPI is made up of a team’s winning percentage (25%), its opponents’ winning percentage (50%), and the winning percentage of those opponents’ opponents (25%). In 2004 the RPI was modified to account for differences in home and away games. Homes win count as 0.6 win, while a road win counts as 1.4 wins. Conversely, a home loss equals 1.4 losses, while a road loss counts as 0.6 losses.

The Rams have faced a common opponent for the Grizzlies, RMAC conference foe, Metro State. CSU defeated the Roadrunners in an October 28th exhibition game, 87-67. The Grizzlies sit atop the RMAC standings in a tie with Metro State with 5-0 records. The Grizzlies and Metro State are the only two teams in the RMAC without a loss.

The Grizzlies’ Dec. 29 clash will serve as ASU’s first regular season game against a Division I opponent under Coach Wilson because their last Division I regular season game was on Jan. 2, 2010 at Wyoming where they lost 71-123.

Senior guard James Lake who has scored 117 points in ASU’s seven games this season leads the Grizzlies offensively. He is 36-for-77 (46.8 percent) from the field and 40-for-58 (69 percent) from the line.

The main rebounder for the Grizzlies is senior forward Kaimyn Pruitt. He is averaging ten rebounds a game with 70 on the season. 51 of those rebounds have been defensive.

Senior guard Shaheed Young leads the team in the assist and steals columns with 26 and 10 on the year, respectively, while Pruitt leads the team with 11 blocks.

One of the main big additions for the Grizzlies is two-sport athlete, sophomore Justin Kauffman. Kauffman has made his presence known several times including a key 3-pointer as time expired against CSU-Pueblo earlier this season. The 3-pointer tied the game and sent the game to overtime where the Grizzlies won 77-73.

Kauffman has contributed 58 points (8.3 ppg) by shooting 17-of-36 (47.2 percent) from the field, incluidng 12-of-25 (48 percent) from beyond the arch. He is 12-of-13 (92.3 percent) on free throw attempts on the season.

The Rams, who average 74.8 points per game, are led by redshirt senior forward Colton Iverson, who has scored 172 points in their 12 games (14.3 avg.) so far this season. Iverson is 65-of-112 (58 percent) from the field and leads the team in rebounding with 109 total, 72 of which were defensive.

Senior guard Dorian Green is leading the Rams in assists with 46. He is also the leading thief with 15 steals on the campaign.

Senior forward Pierce Hornung, who earned his first career Mountain West Player of the Week on Tuesday, is averaging 10.5 points per game with his 105 points he has scored in ten games. In addition to being named the MWPOW, he was named as the Most Valuable Player of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic where he helped lead the Rams to a 4-0 record and the title.

For the week, Hornung averaged 16.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game while shooting 71.4 percent (25-of-35) from the field, including 50 percent (2-of-4) from 3-point range, and 76.5 percent (13-of-17) from the free throw line. Twenty of his 36 rebounds were on the offensive glass. Hornung also recorded three blocks and one steal, and dished out 11 assists while committing just five turnovers over the four-game span.

Fans who cannot attend the game can catch the game on KSPK 103.5 FM in Alamosa.

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