Brandon Sly drives the lane for an uncontested lay-up. Sly excelled Friday night despite the final outcome with 27 points, 4 assists and 2 steals.
ALAMOSA — The Grizzlies hosted conference rival University of Colorado-Colorado Springs on Friday night. The women fell short of a comeback 60-52 and the men found themselves on the wrong end of a nail-biter falling 83-81.
The ladies pulled off a big win at home against Chadron State College last week in a game they took over in the first half, while the Cougars came to town on something of a low note after dropping their last two. On the court first the women started a little slow in Friday’s game falling back by five before quickly evening things up at 10 a piece, where the game would teeter between leads for the remainder of the first quarter.
Stephanie Ruiz (3) sprints up court on a rush during the Grizzlies' 60-52 game against UCCS. Ruiz paced Adams State with 20 points and 2 assists.
It wasn’t until midway through the second quarter that the Cougars built a decisive lead at 26-17. For the remainder of the game UCCS would maintain that lead staying at least seven points ahead of the host Grizzlies.
With time running down Adams State would go on 4-point run to cut the lead to 6. The late game fouling strategy was stopped cold when Adams State sent Abby Feickert to the line and she buried both to open the lead back up to 8.
Stephanie Ruiz again shone brightly under the Plachy Hall lights hitting four three pointers and going 7 of 15 to lead the Grizzlies with 20 points. Madison Merschel came in off the bench and led the Grizzlies with 7 rebounds.
The men have been playing tight games winning the last two by less than three each and Friday was no different. The men asserted themselves through precise play in the first half. Just three minutes in Adams State had a lead courtesy of a lay-up from Shane Johnson.
Then after a 15-7 run the Grizzlies found themselves sitting on a very serviceable 10 point lead at 23-13. The Grizzlies would nurture that lead and take a 48-35 lead into the midway point. In the second half the Cougars struck back.
With 13 minutes to play UCCS’ Isaiah Wilson hit from 20 feet out to make it a nine-point game. Then Titus Reed matched his teammate with another three to cut the lead to six. Elijah Ross and Justin Smith each chipped in lay-ups to cut the lead to 2 off a 10- point run. Two minutes later the Cougars would take the lead with another 3-pointer.
The Grizzlies would try to scratch their way back on top, tying the game at 79 and 81, but UCCS’ Elijah Ross would hit the clincher from the charity stripe with a half a minute to play. Ross would then add another coffin nail with his second free throw finalizing the score at 83-81.
Adams State couldn’t get a 3 pointer or a lay-up to go in the final 26 seconds bringing the game to its conclusion. Brandon Sly added to his team leading 565 points adding another 27 going 11 of 18 on Friday night. Shane Johnson stood out once again chipping in 24 points to the Grizzlies efforts. ASU takes a step back in the playoff race with the loss. With 13 games to be played Adams State is currently sitting at sixth of eight teams with a 5-4 record. (Westminster is not eligible for RMAC and NCAA postseason events).
The Grizzlies will complete their home stand on Saturday night when they welcome the Metro State University Roadrunners. The women are set to take the courts at 5:30 p.m. while the men will begin at 7:30 p.m.