Following CSU menâ€™s basketballâ€™s most devastating loss of the season, the team travels north to face Border War rival Wyoming University.
CSU (15-7, 5-3 MWC) lost to No. 6 San Diego State in the final seconds Wednesday night.
The Rams hope to respond in the second meeting between the two rivals. They won the last matchup at Moby Arena 73-60.
â€œI think the kids are responding better than their coach has, which is good,â€ CSU coach Tim Miles said. â€œOur guys were really attentive and understood their mistakes. I think theyâ€™re ready to go out and compete against Wyoming.â€
The Cowboys (8-14, 1-7 MWC) have struggled this season to find ways to win games but are coming off of a near upset bid themselves at home against No. 9 Brigham Young.
At this point in the year for the Rams, NCAA Tournament hopes are still alive sitting third in the conference. Dropping games against weaker teams is not an option.
â€œInitially, we thought 10 (conference wins) might be the number, but now we think it might be 11,â€ said senior forward Andy Ogide. â€œYou never know, we canâ€™t drop any games. Every game has NCAA implications.â€
Wyoming has lost six games in a row, and four of those have been by double digits.
A gameâ€™s worth of experience against each other does not overcome the inherent intensity that comes with a major rivalry game.
The players expect to get everything the Cowboys have to offer.
â€œItâ€™s always a tough game with Wyoming. Itâ€™s the Border War, itâ€™s a rivalry game,â€ sophomore Pierce Hornung said. â€œThey come out to play hard, we come out to play hard, and so itâ€™s going to be a battle.â€
Offense was not a problem for CSU in the first meeting with Wyoming, especially for senior Adam Nigon who had a career night from beyond the arc.
He scored 21 points on 7-for-8 shooting, all from downtown.
The problem was defense in the first half and guarding against Wyomingâ€™s three-point shooters and leading scorer Desmar Jackson.
Jackson scored 24 points in Januaryâ€™s contest, nearly 10 points over his season average.
â€œThey are a very capable team. They know how to get fouled, and they can be tough defensively,â€ Miles said. â€œIf they start making threes like they did here, they can be a dangerous team.â€
Starting guard Wes Eikmeier played in the SDSU game after missing the previous two with a foot injury but struggled to be effective.
He is listed as doubtful for Saturday.
The game tips off in Laramie, Wyo. at 6 p.m. and will be televised on The Mtn.
Assistant Sports Editor Cris Tiller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org._
Go to the game
- Opponent: Wyoming Cowboys
- Where: Laramie, Wyo.
- When: 6 p.m.
- Watch: The Mtn.