Jan 272009
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

Playing on the road hasn’t boded well for the CSU men’s basketball team so far this season, as the Rams are 0-8 in official away games this year. In fact, the Rams have not won a road game since Jan. 17, 2007, but all of that could end tonight as CSU (7-13, 2-4 MWC) heads to Albuquerque to take on New Mexico (12-8, 3-2).

University of New Mexico’s University Arena, more commonly referred to as “The Pit,” is annually one of the toughest environments to play at in the Mountain West Conference. The Lobos have lost only four games at home during the past two seasons.

With a young and relatively inexperienced team like CSU has this season, playing at New Mexico for the first time can be a difficult idea to grasp.

“We talk to our guys and try to explain to them what’s going to happen when we go down,” said CSU head coach Tim Miles. “At the same time, we show them film and all that fun stuff, but there’s nothing that replicates the experience itself.”

Other than the aid of playing at University Arena, the Lobos are led by senior forward and Albuquerque native, Daniel Farris. At 6-foot-9, 235 pounds, Farris boasts more than 11 points, six rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game, which is third in the Mountain West Conference.

For the Rams, the hot hand lately has been freshman guard Jesse Carr, who is averaging 19 points in CSU’s last two games. Carr is currently tied in first place in the MWC with 20 3-point field goals.

Despite how up and down the Rams have been lately, Carr thinks the Rams are starting to find themselves.

“I think our team is starting to find our identity right now,” Carr said. “I think we’ve really come a long way in finding it.”

Tipoff of tonight’s game is set for 7:30 p.m. and can be seen televised on The Mtn.

Men’s basketball beat writer Matt L. Stephens can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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