The CSU basketball team captured the 2010 Cancun Governor’s Cup championship on Christmas Eve, defeating Southern Miss by a count of 63-58.
The Rams were led by Travis Franklin, who had a career-high 25 points in the win. The performance marked Franklin’s third consecutive 20-point game of the tournament, earning him tournament MVP honors.
The Rams (8-3) trailed by as many as 11 points during the first half before cutting the deficit to just five points at the break. The Rams switched to a full-court press and zone defense late in the first half which held the Golden Eagles (9-2) to a season-low 58 points.
The Rams first lead of the game came on Pierce Hornung’s layup with 12 minutes remaining in the second half.
Five minutes later, the Golden Eagles had regained the lead with a 51-45 advantage before the Rams tied the game with three straight scores on the other end by Franklin, Jesse Carr and Andy Ogide.
Down the stretch, the Rams were able to hold on to the lead thanks to steady free throw shooting, making 11 of 12 from the charity stripe in the final three minutes.
The Rams advanced to the championship game by beating Appalachian State 82-79 in the first round, after senior guard Adam Nigon hit the game-winning three-pointer with just seven seconds left. The Rams then defeated Ole Miss in the second round, as Andy Ogide dismissed his former team from tournament play with a 17 point, 10 rebound performance.
Both Franklin and Ogide put together impressive stats over the course of the three-day tournament. Franklin finishing with 22.3 points (64.3 percent from the floor) and 6 rebounds per contest. While Ogide pitched in with 17.7 points and 8.7 rebounds a game.
The Rams now head to San Francisco to take part in the Hilltop Challenge from Dec. 28-Jan. 1. The Rams will face the hosting San Francisco Dons (4-8), before taking on Dominican University (California) and Hampton.
Sports Editor Joel Hafnor can be reached at email@example.com.