and ELARIO RICKEY
DENVERó The Adams State University Grizzlies menís basketball team recovered nicely one night after suffering their first conference loss to No. 2 Metro State, who will likely be ranked No. 1 at the start of next week. The Grizzlies, who entered Saturday nightís contest short-handed with six missing players due to injury, narrowly defeated the Regis Rangers, 79-77.
The Grizzlies got off to a quick 14-5 start in the first 6:33 of the game thanks in part to a deep 3-pointer from junior Tyler McDaniels . Junior Norvell Arnold also got off to a quick start but foul trouble sent him to the bench midway thru the first-half.
Regis then went on an 11-0 run to take a 16-14 lead using Adams Stateís five turnovers in the first 9:09. Out of a Grizzly timeout, McDaniels evened up the score with an acrobatic lay-up that drew a foul. McDaniels knocked home the free throw for his sixth point in the half and the Grizzlies reclaimed a 17-16 lead.
The Rangers came out of the first media timeout and scored two quick buckets, taking a 20-17 lead over ASU. Both teams traded buckets until ASU went on a 5-0 run, sparked by sophomore Justin Kauffman, who hit a huge trey to tie the score up at 24-24. A Christian Franklin free throw gave the Grizzlies the lead again 25-24.
Senior Kaimyn Pruitt, who had a very quiet game against Metro State, gave the Grizzlies a 28-26 lead with just under four minutes left in the opening half. Pruitt scored his tenth point of the half on another bucket several moments later, giving a 30-28 lead to ASU.
The Grizzlies gave up a bucket to tie the game but seconds later Arnold hit a 3-pointer to give the Grizzlies a 33-30 lead with two minutes left. A suffocating zone-defense got Regis in a rush in the final minutes of the half and Pruitt drew two more fouls. Pruitt knocked down 3-of-4 for a 13-point opening half.
The first six minutes of the second-half were played tightly, with the score being in ASUís favor, 47-46. The Grizzlies attempted to use their size and fed Pruitt heavily. Pruitt finished the night with his team-leading eighth double-double of the season.
Senior John Jackson, who has led the Grizzlies in the last three games, got things going offensively and scored four quick points.
ASU led 49-46 before Regis junior Corbin Green hit two 3-pointers just before the second media timeout to give Regis a 52-49 lead with 9:42 remaining.
The Grizzlies came out of the media timeout and scored a quick two points before Arnold took the ball to the basket and made a nice reverse layup despite being smashed in the head. Arnold, who was in foul trouble throughout the night, did not get the call to go his way but still converted the play. This gave the Grizzlies a 53-52 lead.
Two possessions later, junior Bruno Machado was fouled by Regisí John Conley forcing him to the bench with four fouls and Machado to the line for two shots. Machado converted both free throws and extended the ASU lead to three at 55-52.
Regis converted on several possessions, taking a 58-57 lead before Jackson flew down the court for the Grizzlies and converted a spectacular shot while being fouled. Jackson converted the free throw for his tenth point of the game, giving the Grizzlies a 60-58 lead with five minutes left.
Pruitt then took over, scoring four points to push his total to 22 points with just over three minutes remaining.
Pruitt even got in on the assist action, dishing a no-look pass to a cutting Arnold for a dunk. Jackson then converted on another shot while being fouled. The RMACís third-leading free-throw shooter converted the foul shot, pushing the Grizzly lead to eight.
The Grizzlies led by as many as eight, but Regis would not go because of multiple ASU turnovers. The Rangers pulled within two, 72-70, with less than a minute remaining. A Regis foul would then send Arnold to the line for two free-throws, which he converted. Arnold has been clutch at the line over the past two nights, converting 13 in a row.
After several more free throws, the Grizzlies wrapped up the victory, 79-77.
Jacksonís hot streak continued as he finished with 17 points. Pruitt had a very strong performance with 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies. Arnold also had an exceptional performance, pouring in 16 points and pulling down six boards. McDaniels also contributed 10 points.
The Grizzlies return home to Plachy Hall next Friday and Saturday for games against Colorado School of Mines and Colorado Christian, respectively. Both games are scheduled to tip-off at 8 p.m.
Free throws lift Grizzlies over Rangers
DENVERóSeveral key free throws in the closing minutes of Saturday nightís Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference helped the Grizzlies close out their third RMAC win. The Grizzlies defeated the Regis Rangers 60-57.
Ann Pauly led the Grizzlies offensively with 14 points. Kelly Hernandez also scored double-digit in points with 12 points. Tessie Pikula and Marissa Peterson scored eight points each while Keyondra white and Deanna Reich each scored seven points. Mariah Gonzales tacked in four additional points.
The Grizzlies will return to action Friday when they open up doubleheaders against Colorado School of Mines and Colorado Christian.