Dec 102003
 
Authors: Vince Blaser

CSU basketball coach Dale Layer got ejected for the first time

since becoming CSU coach in a physical, emotional 84-78 loss to

in-state rival University of Colorado-Boulder, Wednesday night at

Moby Arena.

“I’m going to stick up for my team every time all the time,”

Layer said.

Layer fumed almost the entire second half about the physical

play of the Buffaloes and traveling violations that were not

called. CU (5-1) expanded on a four-point halftime lead to 12 in

the first 4:30 of the second half off CSU (4-3) turnovers and fast

break dunks by CU center David Harrison and forward Lamar

Harris.

When officials called a questionable foul on CSU swingman Freddy

Robinson with 8:22 to play in the game, Layer started jawing with

officials and received a technical foul, after which CSU assistants

carried him off the floor to keep him away from the referees.

Six minutes later, the officials tossed Layer after Harrison set

a physical pick on CSU point guard Michael Morris, knocking Morris

hard to the floor.

“No question it was an illegal screen,” Layer said.

Layer’s ejection riled the near-capacity crowd of 7,791. A few

fans hurled objects onto the floor, including pennies, a pen and a

full water bottle that landed about three feet from CU swingman

Blair Wilson.

“I was really concerned when there was stuff thrown on the

court,” said CU coach Ricardo Patton. “You just can’t have

that.”

The Buffaloes (5-1) held a double-digit lead most of the second

half until the Rams made a run late in the game.

“We have to string together some stops,” said forward Matt

Williams, who led the Rams with 26 points and 10 rebounds. “We got

to quit reaching and fouling.”

The Rams committed 18 fouls in the second half.

The Buffaloes were lead by Harrison’s 19 points and eight

rebounds and the shooting of guard Michel Morandais, who had 17

points.

“I never thought this was a rivalry, they just don’t like us,”

Harrison said. “This is not an easy place to play.”

Robinson reached his career high in scoring at CSU less than 13

minutes into the game. He started 5-for-5 shooting, including two

3-pointers for an early 12 points. He finished with 16.

“I’ll take that effort from Freddy every night,” Layer said.

Robinson’s early hot hand, combined with the all-around play of

Williams gave the Rams an early 15-7 lead. But the Buffaloes

stormed back on the inside play of Harrison and Morandais.

Morandais gave CU its first lead since the start of the game

with a lay up to put the Buffaloes up 24-22.

The teams exchanged runs for the rest of the half, with CU

garnering an 11-0 run near the end of the half. The inside play of

Harrison also got the two Rams centers in trouble. Season-leading

scorer Matt Nelson committed two early fouls, both on questionable

calls, and backup center Steven Verwers had three first half

fouls.

“I don’t think (Nelson) was as aggressive as he needs to be to

combat a player like David Harrison,” Layer said.

Harrison held Nelson to nine points and forced him to commit

four turnovers.

Another problem for the Rams continues to be poor free throw

shooting. Williams and Morris were 14-for-16 from the line, but the

rest of the Rams were just 1-7.

However, Williams said the team played much better the last two

games and are further ahead than they were at the same point last

year. The Rams face another in-state rival in Denver University in

Denver on Saturday.

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