Jan 292004
 
Authors: Vince Blaser

The Wyomingites are coming.

The CSU men’s basketball team faces border rival Wyoming for the

197th time Saturday at 7 p.m. at Moby Arena. Thousands of Wyoming

fans are expected to travel down to Fort Collins in what is usually

an evenly divided, near-sellout crowd on the Rams’ home floor.

The Rams (10-8 overall, 2-3 Mountain West Conference) will take

on the Cowboys (9-9, 2-3) without the services of their 7-foot

center and leading scorer Matt Nelson. Nelson re-injured a sprained

right knee during Monday’s 89-83 overtime win against Nevada – Las

Vegas. Nelson, who averages 14.8 points a game, also missed time

earlier this season after injuring the knee Jan. 5 at Montana

State. He is out of the CSU lineup indefinitely.

“We will move forward,” CSU head coach Dale Layer said in a

release. “I feel badly for Matt (Nelson) that he was injured. I

know that he will work hard to return as quickly as possible.”

Both teams are not enjoying as much success as they had hoped

this season, but both are coming off conference wins. CSU has won

two straight overtime MWC games against UNLV and San Diego State at

home, while Wyoming had a 79-71 comeback win against SDSU

Monday.

Cowboy point guard Jay Straight scored 21 of a career-high 30

points in the second half against the Aztecs. Straight should have

a great matchup against CSU point guard Micheal Morris.

Morris was held scoreless for the first 20 minutes in his first

game back from his hamstring injury against SDSU Saturday but

exploded for a career-high 24 points in the second half and

overtime in CSU’s 92-82 double-overtime win against the Aztecs.

The guard play of Straight and David Adams leads the Cowboys.

Adams averages 10.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

Without Nelson, 6-10 freshman center Stephen Verwers will have

to again step into a starting role, guarding Cowboy 7-foot center

Alex Dunn. Forward Matt Williams, CSU’s second leading scorer, has

been shooting the ball well of late and will have to pick up the

scoring load along with Morris.

“I got in trouble with my family and my coaches after taking all

those charges at Utah,” Williams said after the SDSU game. “I got

to make people come out and guard me.”

The Rams have broken their all-time record in foul shots

attempted in the past two games. CSU shot 56 foul shots against

UNLV and 53 against SDSU. CSU is shooting 68.7 percent from the

line this season.

Majerus to quit

Longtime Utah head coach Rick Majerus announced Wednesday that

he will resign as the Utes head coach at the end of the season.

Majerus was hospitalized Wednesday with chest pains and said he is

resigning because of continual health problems and to be with his

family. He has a 320-95 record in 15 seasons at Utah and a 422-147

career record as a college head coach. Utes assistant Kerry Rupp

will fill in for Majerus while he is hospitalized.

Probable starting lineups

CSU (10-8, 2-3 MWC)

G #32 Michael Morris 6-3

G #22 Shelton Johnson 6-3

F #13 Freddy Robinson 6-5

F #42 Matt Williams 6-6

C #34 Stephen Verwers 6-10

Wyoming (9-9, 2-3 MWC)

G #3 Jay Straight 5-11

G #23 David Adam 6-2

F #5 Tim Henry 6-5

F #25 Joe Ries 6-8

C #13 Alex Dunn 7-0

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