The CSU men’s basketball team returns to Moby Arena tonight in an attempt to end a two-game losing streak that began last Wednesday on the road.
The West Alabama Tigers will visit, bringing in a 3-1 record and an 0-1 mark against Division I teams.
The Rams will try to get back on track after dropping games to Southern Illinois and Arkansas-Little Rock after jumping out to a 4-0 start. The Rams are shooting 49 percent from the field and averaging more than 39 rebounds per game.
They had trouble on the boards against Southern Illinois, particularly on offense, where they got only seven rebounds. The Salukis out-rebounded the Rams 40-33 to mark the only time the Rams have been out-rebounded this season.
“Going in and playing a team like the Salukis on the road is something we knew would be tough,” CSU coach Dale Layer said. “We have a couple of weeks at home now where we should be able to make some big improvements.”
After winning Mountain West Player of the Week honors two weeks ago, CSU forward Brian Greene cooled off on the road trip. He was held to 2-11 from the field and scored only five combined points in the two losses. Greene needs only 120 points to reach 1,000 for his career.
Swingman Ronnie Clark and center Matt Nelson took on the load for the Rams with Greene struggling. Clark led the team with 21 points against Southern Illinois and Nelson had 18 against Arkansas-Little Rock.
Despite the last two games, Greene still shares the team lead in scoring with guard Andy Birley at 13.3 points per game.
West Alabama won its first three games this season before suffering a 97-71 pummeling at the hands of Alabama-Birmingham.
Junior forward Raspanti Laneair has been putting up big numbers for the Tigers, averaging 20.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game and shooting 48 percent from the field. Forward Richard Stone averages 15.8 points a game and has five steals on the season.
The game sets off a six-game home stand in which the Rams will try to stretch a five-game winning streak at Moby Arena.
“Winning this first game is important because it’s going to set the tone for how we handle ourselves as a team over the next few weeks,” Layer said. “We’ve got some tough opponents coming here this month and we want to start off this home stretch with a positive.”