Four days after pulling off one of their most impressive wins of the season, the CSU Rams hit a wall in the form of the Brigham Young Cougars.
The Rams (8-16, 3-7 MWC) lost to the Cougars (18-5, 6-3 MWC) for the second time this season, falling in Provo, Utah Wednesday night 94-60.
The Rams kept pace with the Cougars early, staying point to point for the first eight minutes of the contest, but let the game slip away from there. BYU would pull away quickly, thanks much in part to the play of guard Johnathan Tavernari. The senior was solid for the Cougars, hitting all five of his shot attempts from behind the arc, finishing the game with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Rams head coach Tim Miles was very disappointed in his team’s performance, saying CSU just couldn’t stop BYU’s run midway through the first half.
“It was a complete inability to do one of the most basic things in basketball and that is to guard ball and to stop the ball,” the second year Rams coach said. “At the same time every time they scored, you could see our energy go down. You have to stop those runs and we didn’t.”
Senior Marcus Walker, who found his way back into the starting line up Wednesday night, led CSU, putting up 19 points including a three point buzzer-beater just before halftime.
Miles explained that he has confidence in his guard, even in games like this.
“We know what we are getting out of him,” he said. “He’s a guy with great energy who can make plays. I never worried about starting him.”
The Rams are scheduled to finish their two-game road trip in Las Vegas this Saturday as they aim to sweep the season series against the UNLV Rebels.
Miles said that it easy to see what the green and gold have to do to get back on track. The former North Dakota State coach will have his team start by watching film of Wednesday’s loss.
“We have to go to work, trying to make sure that the mistakes of the past don’t come back and haunt us,” he said.
Men’s basketball beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at email@example.com.