It has been a season of rebounding from defeat for the CSU men’s basketball team, and tonight’s home contest against the Denver Pioneers will be another chance for the Rams to get back on track.
The Rams (4-3) will need to improve their rebounding in order to get a victory, after they were out rebounded 43-25 by the Northern Colorado during their 72-59 loss Saturday.
After the game CSU coach Tim Miles said his team was “out-toughed.”
The Rams will also have to work on holding onto the ball, as they are leading the nation in turnovers per game with 13.1, tied with five other teams.
Another key for the Rams will be stopping Denver from getting open looks from 3-point range, as the Pioneers are 41st in the nation form long range, shooting 40.6 percent as a team.
The Pioneers (2-3) are in their first season under coach Joe Scott, who favors the often-slow paced Princeton-style offense, which might be familiar to Ram fans from his days at Air Force.
Three Rams are averaging double-figures in scoring on the season, led by Marcus Walker, who averages 16.3, followed by Willis Gardner with 13.3 and Stuart Creason with 13.0.
The Pioneers are led by senior small forward David Kumer, who averages 12.2 points and 5.4 rebounds on the season and freshman guard Kyle Lewis, who is averaging 10.6 points per game.
The Rams and Pioneers will be meeting for the 156th time, as the Rams hold an 87-68 lead in the series. CSU won last year’s game at Denver 81-73 behind 24 points from current Philadelphia 76er Jason Smith.
“We let one slip away (against UNC), we can’t do that in conference. Especially on our home court, if we don’t protect out home court, we will be dead in the water,” said Creason after Saturday’s loss.
Sport Writer Matt Pucak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.