Rams take on TCU

Feb 212006
Authors: Paul Baker

Wednesday night will pit the bottom two teams in the Mountain West Conference against one another, Texas Christian University and CSU. The loser will most likely become the ninth seed in the upcoming conference tournament.

TCU comes to Moby with a record of 5-21 and 1-11 in conference, with their only win coming at the Rams' expense in an 85-72 meeting on Jan. 21.

"We took them for granted last time," said forward Jason Smith. "We had a chip on our shoulder and didn't really think they were going to do anything to us."

The Horned Frogs are finishing a two-game road trip that started with a loss to conference leading San Diego State. TCU held a lead of 11 points during the beginning of the second half and were only down one point with four minutes to play before Brandon Heath rallied the Aztecs to an 83-71 win.

TCU is led by their senior guard Nile Murray who is fourth in the conference averaging 16.1 points per game, while sophomore guard Brett Hackett averages 10.8 points per game and leads the team with 69 assists.

"Nile Murray is an extremely talented player," head coach Dale Layer said. "Although their record doesn't show it, they're a very talented team."

Senior forward Judson Stubbs paces the Frogs with 6.5 rebounds per game and puts up 10 points per game as well.

The Rams (13-12, 2-10) are coming off a home loss to UNLV, where a late offensive stumble cost CSU the win. In the game, sophomore Jason Smith recorded his sixth career double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds.

Smith leads a trio of Rams that average double figures with 17.2 points per game and a team best 7.4 rebounds a game. Junior forward Michael Harrison is averaging 11.4 points and junior guard Cory Lewis is putting up 10.6 points with a conference leading 4.42 assists per game.

The Rams are second in the conference in terms of offensive production, as they average 75.2 points per game. On the other hand the Rams give up 72.1 points a game, which ranks them last in the MWC. TCU finds themselves at the bottom of the conference in terms of scoring offense as the only average 61.3 points a game.

With four games left in the season, two home games and two away games, the Rams need to find some success so they can have some momentum heading into the conference tournament.

"We're close to getting over that hump," said forward Freddy Robinson. "We're willing to work more as a unit now. We just need to get a win."

Tonight's game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Moby Arena.

Conference Standings Conference Overall

SDSU 11-2 18-7

Air For ce 9-4 21-5

BYU 8-4 16-7

UNLV 8-4 14-10

New Mexico 7-5 16-9

Utah 5-8 12-12

Wyoming 5-8 12-14

CSU 2-10 13-12

TCU 1-11 5-21

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