The CSU men’s basketball team has one win at The Pit in
Albuquerque, N.M., in the last 34 games, and Saturday’s 63-51 loss
to New Mexico only added to the team’s frustration in games on the
Lobos’ home floor.
The Rams lost their ninth straight and 33rd out of the last 34
games played at The Pit in front of 16,101 fans in Albuquerque
Saturday. CSU (11-9 overall, 3-4 Mountain West Conference) scored
only six points in the game’s first 10 minutes and shot just 37.5
percent from the floor, while New Mexico (12-8, 3-4) shot 46.7
“It’s really tough to win in this building,” said freshman point
guard Dwight Boatner during an interview with 1410 KIIX after the
Despite snapping its three-game conference winning streak and
dropping under .500 in Mountain West play, CSU maintained its
third-place standing in the conference, but the Rams are now tied
with four other teams at 3-4. Air Force, who the Rams play tonight
at 7 p.m. in Colorado Springs, leads the conference with a 6-1
record, with Utah one game behind at 5-2. CSU, New Mexico, Brigham
Young, San Diego State and Nevada-Las Vegas all have 3-4 records
and Wyoming sits in last place at 2-5.
The Rams hung in the game with New Mexico by holding Lobos’
leading scorer Danny Granger to just 13 points, his second lowest
output of the season.
“The defensive effort was pretty darn good,” said CSU head coach
Dale Layer on KIIX. “We were struggling to score points.”
The Rams tried many lineup combinations to try to find ways to
score without the services of 7-foot center Matt Nelson, who has
missed the last two games with a sprained right knee and is
doubtful for today’s game at Air Force.
“We’re trying to figure out where we’re going to get those
points that we were getting from (Nelson),” Boatner said.
Boatner, who has come off the bench for a majority of CSU’s
games, started and led the Rams with 11 points Saturday, with no
other Rams reaching double figures. Point guard Troy DeVries led
New Mexico with 15 points, most coming off drives to the basket in
the second half. The officials called many offensive fouls in the
game to the dismay of Layer, who said he wanted his team to attack
New Mexico led the game 28-20 at halftime and the Rams would get
no closer than five points in the second half. Granger sealed the
win for the Lobos with 3:27 to play when he rebounded a free throw
miss by a teammate and dunked the ball to put New Mexico ahead
The Rams have been getting increased production out of their
true freshmen. Point guard Dwight Boatner started Saturday and led
the Rams with 11 points. Forward Philip Thomasson chipped in seven
points off the bench and center Steven Verwers started for the
injured Matt Nelson.
The Rams shot only 37.5 percent from the floor and were only
2-of-13 from 3-point range for the game.
CSU point guard Micheal Morris came crashing down hard on his
right leg after going up for a layup with 15:40 left in the first
half. Morris left the game holding his right leg but would return
to action later in the game.