Feb 242005
Authors: Scott Bondy

The 202nd meeting between CSU and Wyoming will hit the hard court at Moby Arena on Saturday night.

It will be the last home game for the Rams (10-15, 2-9 in the Mountain West Conference) this season and the last game played at Moby for CSU's four seniors.

"It's going to be an emotional night," said CSU center Matt Nelson.

Arguably one of the biggest rivalries in the conference, the Border War has turned into a good match-up for both teams. Earlier this season the Cowboys (15-10, 7-5 in MWC) snuck by with a 69-56 win after trailing by as much as 12 in Laramie, Wyo. This time, on Senior Night, the Rams will have home-court advantage and the crowd behind them.

"This place is going to be packed and loud," said senior CSU forward Matt Williams. "We need to be ready to play."

The seniors will certainly need to play well to give CSU a better chance at victory. Nelson is averaging 15.3 points per game while bringing down 5.8 rebounds and is coming off a 24-point, nine-rebound effort Monday night against UNLV, when he moved into third place in all-time scoring at CSU (1,577 points). Williams is second on the team in scoring with 11.8 points per game.

After a two-game skid, the Cowboys won Monday against San Diego State. Senior Jay Straight continues to lead Wyoming with 17.5 points per game, good for fifth in the conference. He also dishes out 5.4 assists per outing.

"We did a decent job of guarding him last time up there," Nelson said. "Sean (Morris) or Michael (Morris) will have to lock down on him defensively."

Last time Straight was held to 3-of-10 shooting and 12 points, but other Wyoming players stepped up. The Rams were outscored 47-26 in the second half and blew an eight-point halftime lead.

While it may be Senior Night, others will need to shine as well if the Rams are going to win. Jason Smith, who ranks third on the team in scoring with 10.5 points per game, is the only freshman to rank in the top 20 in the Mountain West in scoring (16th ), rebounding (ninth ) or field goal percentage (sixth).

If the rivalry doesn't speak for itself, leave it to a senior to sum it up.

"We definitely have to get a 'W' on Saturday," said senior guard Nick Ball. "Nothing else matters, I just want to win."

Tip off will be at 7 p.m.

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