Hot shooting pushes Adams St. to final
Bustos scores 22 and now has 53 in first two postseason games
DURANGO, Colo. — One night after scoring 31 points against Fort Lewis, Vera Jo Bustos added 22 to lead No. 8 seed Adams State to a 66-49 win against No. 4 seed Northern State on Saturday in the second semifinal game of the NCAA Division II Central Regional in Whalen Gymnasium at Fort Lewis College.
Bustos did most of her damage early, scoring 16 points in the first frame, including a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc. She was also strong on the defensive end, grabbing eight defensive caroms.
Behind Bustos’ hot hand, the Grizzlies took a 37-27 lead into intermission.
The Wolves cut the lead to six points, 55-49, on a Jodi Reinschmidt jumper with 5:29 remaining, but then watched Adams State close the game on an 11-0 run.
The Grizzlies also had strong performances from Kelsie Kruger (17 points, 8 rebounds, 3-for-5 from long range) and Kendra Coveal (10 points).
Krista Rabenberg led Northern State with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Emily Becken added 12 points and 7 assists.
The Cinderella story of the Central Regionals, Adams State has ended the season of two of the region’s top four seeds: Northern State and Fort Lewis on consecutive days. The host Skyhawks (28-3) were seeded No. 1 in the region, ranked No. 5 in the nation and the defending NCAA Division II runners-up, but fell to the Grizzlies 77-66 in overtime in the quarterfinals — their first loss to Adams State in four years.
The Grizzlies will face RMAC foe Metro State (Colo.) (29-2) in the NCAA Division II Central Region championship game Monday in Fort Lewis College’s Whalen Gymnasium. The Roadrunners, ranked No. 10 in the latest coaches’ poll and seeded No. 2 in the Central Regional, topped No. 9 nationally-ranked and No. 3 regional seed Wayne State (Neb.) 74-55 earlier Saturday in Whalen Gymnasium in the other semifinal.
The winner of the NCAA Division II Central Regional will advance to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in St. Joseph, Mo., on March 22-25.