Adams State Duo Upends Balanced UCCS Attack

By Doug Fitzgerald published December 4, 2010

COLORADO SPRINGS - Five players in double figures wasn't enough to upstage the Marqus Richards/Seth Heinbaugh show as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs dropped an 89-82 decision to the Adams State Grizzlies Saturday evening at the Gallogly Events Center.

Richards had game highs with 27 points and 11 rebounds for Adams State (5-0, 2-0 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference). Heinbaugh was nearly as productive with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Shayar Lee contributed 16 points, while Jamiko Verner had five assists and Deray Wilson had five steals.

"We just got outplayed," said UCCS coach Russ Caton. "Our guards couldn't handle their pressure and our big guys couldn't handle their strength.

"We knew that was what they did. We talked about it and we practiced it, but obviously we can't duplicate that kind of strength and athleticism in practice."

There were scorers aplenty for the Mountain Lions, who slipped to 2-4, 0-2 RMAC. Ben Feilmeier, Alan Paul and Luke Hristou each had 16 points, with Paul and Hristou bringing it off the bench. Caton has grown increasingly confident in his reserves.

"It's such a huge upside to have guys come in and be contributors," he said. "To have some scoring and productivity (off the bench) is a huge thing."

Paul has been a pleasant revelation. Having sat out for three seasons after a devastating knee injury, he joined the Mountain Lions on the suggestion of UCCS assistant coach and fellow Colorado Springs native James Lane. After starting tentatively, he has averaged 13 points while shooting 60 percent over the past two games.

"Two things," he said in response to a question about the root of his increased production. "The nerves have been steadily declining, the first couple of games I was very nervous out there. Then confidence in my knee, coming back from that knee injury and gaining confidence every day."

Also in double digits were starters Brent Jones (12 points) and Jordan McClung (10). Rob Howe nearly reached the mark as well with eight points.

Paul and Hristou also were UCCS' leaders in rebounds with six each. Damar Hill continued to distribute the ball at a school-record pace with eight assists. The diminutive sophomore from Paramount, Calif., has averaged 9.3 assists per game over the past three contests.

The Mountain Lions opened the game making six of their first eight field goal attempts, including a pair of Feilmeier 3-pointers, to take a 15-7 lead. That advantage held up until late in the first half, when a Heinbaugh three-point play gave the Grizzlies their first lead, 42-41 with 4:15 remaining.

UCCS had five turnovers over the final four minutes as Adams State turned up the defensive pressure. The Grizzlies went into the intermission leading 54-47.

"Turnovers were a huge factor in the game," said Caton, whose team had 26 turnovers overall.

After trailing by as many as nine and were down 65-58 when Jones scored four and Hristou hit a 3-pointer as part of a 9-2 run that tied it at 67. Shortly thereafter, a Feilmeier free throw gave the Mountain Lions their final lead, 72-71, with 8:09 remaining.

Adams State answered with a 13-2 run during which they again hit the "more" button on defensive pressure forcing six more turnovers  over the next six minutes.

"We're going to deal with it better (in the future)," said Paul about the pressure defense. "There's a lot of new players on the team and we've got to jell a little bit more, read each other a little better. It's just comfort level; we've got to get comfortable with it because its not going to change. The RMAC is very physical and very athletic."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Luke HristouLuke Hristou35FSo.
Luke HristouLuke Hristou35F
Luke HristouLuke Hristou35F
Brent JonesBrent Jones10F
Brent JonesBrent Jones10FSr.
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