Feb 202005
 
Authors: Scott Bondy

People who weren't at Moby Arena on Saturday night missed quite a show.

The CSU men's basketball team (10-14, 2-9 in Mountain West) was down as many as 14 points during the game, but the Rams fought back to take the San Diego State Aztecs (10-13, 4-6) to overtime and win 93-88.

Regulation came down to a pair of free throws by a CSU freshman. With nine seconds left in the second half and CSU trailing 78-76, guard Sean Morris stepped up to the line and sank both clutch free throws to send the fans at Moby into a frenzy and the game into extra periods.

The Rams never looked back from there. Matt Williams, who had a career night, added eight of his 26 points in overtime as he also stepped up huge for the Rams from the free throw line. Williams shot 9-of-14 from the field and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the line. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. On the day, CSU shot 27-of-29 on free throws.

SDSU's Marcus Slaughter came out in the first half with 12 points and seven

Rebounds, but the Rams attacked him often on the offensive end, leading him to early foul trouble. Slaughter fouled out of the game with 42 seconds left in regulation.

Brandon Heath then tried to take over for the Aztecs. He scored 10 of his game-high 28 points in overtime but couldn't help the Aztecs take a lead because CSU continued to make its free throws. Heath, an 83 percent free thow shooter, missed five critical shots at the end of the game and in overtime.

Morris ended regulation with the key free throws, and then the 5-foot-10-inch guard also ended the overtime period with a monster two-handed dunk.

"He is Mr. Skydemon," said forward Jason Smith. "He is a great high-energy player and when he has that energy, we all do."

Smith also had a breakout night. He had career highs in points with 24 and rebounds with 11. The Rams had four players score in double figures as Morris had 17 and center Matt Nelson finished with 12. Junior Micheal Morris contributed to the offense with key shots down the stretch and dished out a career-high 11 assists on the night. He was one point shy of a double-double.

The Rams hadn't scored more than 60 points in a game since the last time they played SDSU on Jan. 24. Saturday's game ended the team's eight-game losing streak.

"That was an incredible basketball game," said head coach Dale Layer. "It's about time our guys got rewarded for their hard play."

The Rams must make a quick turnaround and prepare for tonight's game versus

UNLV. They will look to build on this win to take them into the season's final stretch and into the conference tournament.

"Now we have a little momentum," Williams said. "But we need to prepare for UNLV because they will be gunning for us.

In the last meeting, the Rams traveled to Las Vegas and left with an 86-77 loss. This time the Rams will be healthy and playing at home. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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