GOLDEN, Colo. – No. 1 Colorado School of Mines returned to the court for the first time in 26 days with an emphatic 86-70 win over Adams State on Saturday.
Defending the nation’s top ranking for the first time since earning it on Jan. 12, the Orediggers (9-0, 8-0 RMAC) were powered by Austin Means’ 16-point, 10-rebound double-double as all five starters scored in double figures. One of the nation’s highest-scoring teams, the Grizzlies (5-4, 5-4 RMAC) were held to .351 overall shooting.
Brendan Sullivan scored 16 while Michael Glen and Kobi Betts each had 13 and Ben Boone chipped in 10 with a big second half. But it was Means who stole the show, adding four assists, two steals, and a block to his night as he sank seven of 10 attempts and dominated the post along with Glen.
ASU’s Destan Williams led all scorers with 24 points. The Grizzlies were short-staffed with only eight players, and Mines pounced on their foul trouble to pull away in the second half.
Most of the first half was tightly played as Mines slowed down the ASU attack, but didn’t control the game until four straight points by Glen made it 27-21 with 5:54 to play in the period. Betts then took over to close the half, scoring six points in an 8-0 Mines run, and they ultimately ended the first on a 13-4 tear that gave them a 40-28 lead at the break.
It was more of the same to open the second half with another 8-0 run making it 46-28, and Mines continued to pour it on with their lead extending to as much as 29 points late in the half. Pryor Orser was able to clear his bench for the better part of the final four minutes; Mines led 83-56 when its starters sat down.
– After five postponements and a cancellation, Mines was playing for the first time since an overtime win over Black Hills State on Jan. 4.
– Western Colorado’s upset over #6 Colorado Mesa leaves Mines as the last unbeaten in the RMAC.
– Mines shot a red-hot .577 overall including .600 in the first half, despite being just 3-of-12 from beyond the arc.
– Sullivan’s 16 points came despite playing just 24 minutes as he picked up three fouls in the first half. The junior added two assists, a steal, and a block.
– Glen just missed a double-double of his own with nine rebounds.
– Paul O’Leary led all bench scorers with six points; Trent Dykema pitched in five.
– Mines dominated the boards 39-26, including 35-22 on the defensive glass. The Orediggers also owned the paint offensively, outscoring ASU 44-28 inside.
– The foul-riddled game saw 60 combined free throws; ASU made 26-of-31 attempts and Mines 23-of-29.
– Adams State came into the game averaging 81.2 points per game and shooting .492 overall.
Mines will host Regis in a make-up game on Monday at 6 p.m.