Feb. 14, 2009

DENVER, COLO. - No. 23 Metro State College held off a late rally from Colorado Christian University to hold on for a 74-68 victory on Saturday afternoon at the Auraria Event Center in Denver. Metro State has now won 12 consecutive games this season. The win also clinches at least a tie for first place in the East Division of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference for the Roadrunners, surging them to a 20-3 overall record this season and 14-1 in the RMAC. Colorado Christian drops to 13-11 overall and 8-8 in the RMAC.

Marquise Carrington, playing his final regular season home game for Metro State, buried a career-high nine 3-pointers en route to a game-high 29 points, just four short of his career high of 33. He hit 9-of-15 from the outside and added four steals, three assists and three rebounds. His nine 3-pointers also tied a school record, set by Jeremy Ward in 1995. Jesse Wagstaff, also playing his final home regular season game, scored 22 points and added a game-high eight rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Donte Nicholas scored 15 for the Roadrunners. The trio of Carrington, Wagstaff and Nicholas combined for 66 of Metro State's 74 points.

The Roadrunners jumped out to a 13-2 lead as Carrington connected on three 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the contest. But the Cougars stormed back, going on a 16-3 run to take a two-point lead with 10:21 left in the first half as Jobi Wall got hot for Colorado Christian, hitting two 3-pointers during that run.

CCU built a five-point halftime lead at 36-31 as Wall scored 11 of his career-high 25 points in the first half. Metro State struggled shooting the ball in the first half, hitting just 8-of-26 (.300) from the field. Colorado Christian hit 16-of-32 (.500).

The Cougars led by nine at 42-33 with 16:17 left in the game, before Metro State went on a 14-5 run as Carrington hit three more 3-pointers and Wagstaff made a layup with 10:45 left to tied the score at 47-47.

With CCU leading 59-58 with 6:56 left, the Roadrunners went on a 9-0 run to take a lead it would not give up. A basket by Nelson Ekeh put Metro State ahead, before Carrington drilled his ninth 3-pointer of the afternoon with 6:16 left to give Metro State a four-point lead. Nicholas scored on a layup before Wagstaff hit two free throws to put the Roadrunners up 67-59 with 4:58 left.

A jumper and 3-pointer by Wall cut Metro State's lead to three with four minutes remaining. Then, trailing by three with under two minutes remaining, Wall scored in the paint to trim the Roadrunner lead to just one. But Metro State made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 1:29 to seal the win.

By holding off the late rally by Colorado Christian, Metro State has now won 18 consecutive home games against the Cougars, with its last loss coming in the spring of 1993.

For the game Metro State shot 37.7 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from the outside. The Roadrunners are now 7-0 this season when shooting 40 percent or better from 3-point range. They also connected on 21-of-31 free throws, while the Cougars hit 8-of-14 from the stripe. The Roadrunners dominated the boards in the second half owning a 39-28 advantage in the game after the rebounds were an even 17-17 apiece at the intermission.

Saturday's game was Metro State's first-ever home nationally televised game as it aired on CBS CollegeSports. In conjunction with Fan Appreciation Day, Metro State set a regular season attendance record for the Auraria Event Center as 1,701 fans attended the game.

Metro State will hit the road next weekend, traveling to Nebraska-Kearney for an 8 p.m. game on Friday, Feb. 20 and Chadron State (Neb.) for an 8 p.m. tipoff on Saturday. A win in either game will clinch sole possession of the East Division regular season championship for the Roadrunners.