Another loss to another top club

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No. 18 Grizzlies sink 41 free throws

By Dave Kavanaugh

For the second night in a row, the New Mexico Highlands men’s basketball team played at a Top 25 opponent.

For the second night in a row, the Cowboys didn’t have enough to pull off the upset.
Adams State (11-1, 9-0), the No. 18 club in NCAA Division II according to a National Association of Basketball Coaches poll, held on for a 92-77 win.

Highlands slipped to 5-9 overall and 3-7 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

Adams State’s John Jackson was flawless at the foul line, hitting 15 free throws and scoring a game-high 32 points. Norvell Arnold had 20 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for the Grizzlies.

Adams State excelled on the line, making 41 of 50 foul shots (82 percent).

Highlands and head coach Joe Harge return to the Wilson Complex, where they’ll host Chadron State (Neb.) and league newbie Black Hills State (S.D.) on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Mannie Cass led NMHU in scoring, as he had the previous evening in a loss at No. 25 Fort Lewis in Durango. Cass swished six three-pointers in eight attempts and tallied a team-high 27 points. He shot 9 for 13 overall and made all three of his foul shots. On the other hand, he also turned the ball over eight times.

No other Cowboy scored in double figures; Augustus French had nine points, three blocks and five rebounds, and former Pecos star Dominick Baca had eight points.

The Cowboys posted a strong start, getting out to a 23-10 lead.

But they faded down the stretch as the Grizzlies stepped out in front and stretched the margin to double digits.

Highlands cut the lead to 78-73 on a pair of free throws by Stargell Love with 4:29 remaining.

But the Grizzlies finished well, outscoring their guests 14-4 after that. Adams State is 6-0 at home.