After tallying their first conference road win in nearly three years, the CSU men's basketball team returns to Moby Arena on Saturday night to host the Runnin' Rebels of UNLV.
The Rams traveled to Utah on Wednesday night and walked out of the Jon M. Huntsman center with a 69-61 overtime victory, CSU's first conference road win since March 6, 2003.
"We had a real tough stretch, and we have to give our guys great credit for persevering, hanging in there, working hard every day and playing with huge hearts," said head coach Dale Layer in a Utah press release after his 250th career win.
CSU broke a seven-game losing skid that leaves them with a record of 13-11 overall, 2-9 in the Mountain West Conference. Sophomore guard Sean Morris led the Rams with 17 points, his highest scoring output in a month.
"I thought Sean Morris sure bailed us out of some tough jams there, with three straight threes; one that put us into overtime and two in overtime," Layer said. "He was sick and he's been struggling from the field, and it was great to have him break out and give us a terrific game."
Despite breaking the losing streaks or putting another win on the stat sheet, the Rams are looking ahead to the task at hand: UNLV.
In the last meeting between these teams, the Rebels defeated the Rams 68-57 in Las Vegas almost exactly one month ago. Senior forward Louis Armundson garnered his seventh double-double of the season versus the Rams in the last game, scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Freshman guard Jo'Van Adams also chipped in 20 points and a UNLV record eight steals on the night.
The Runnin' Rebels bring in the No. 2 ranked rebounding team (37 per game) in the conference and the fourth ranked scoring team (71.7) in the MWC. However, the Rams are no bottom of the barrel team when it comes to stats. They are currently ranked second in the MWC in scoring (75.4 per game) fueled by sophomore Jason Smith's 17 points per outing.
The Rebels are 3-2 on the road in MWC road games but CSU will be no easy task at home considering they are 8-4 in Moby Arena. The Rams are also ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the league for blocks (6.2 a game) and assists (16 a game), respectively.
Armundson, a Boulder native, leads UNLV in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14 points and almost 10 boards a game. Junior guard Jason Pertimoulx leads the team in assists with 83 dishes to go along with 11 points a night.
UNLV will have a short turnaround Saturday as they played league-leading San Diego State on Thursday night.
Saturday has been declared "Green Out" by CSU athletic marketing. They are encouraging everyone to where green to the game. Tip-off is 1 p.m. at Moby Arena. Students can get tickets at the Mcgraw Center or at the door the day of the game.