Feb 112012
 
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

When push came to shove at the end of a close game, CSU gave the ball away too many times to pull out the win.

The Rams turned the ball over three times in the last 2:44 and lost their third consecutive road game 75-71 at TCU.

“It’s just disappointing because our best players were the guys that turned it over,” CSU coach Tim Miles said.

Junior Wes Eikmeier committed two of the turnovers while senior Will Bell was called for an illegal screen with just over a minute left.

TCU’s Ryan Anderson stole the ball from Eikmeier with 20 seconds remaining and the Rams trailing by two, and the Horned Frogs hit four straight free throws to close the game out.

“They’ll bounce back, and they’ll be there for them the next time that we need them,” Miles said.

Eikmeier was outstanding for the rest of the game, scoring a career-high 29 points on 9-of-14 shooting after struggling with his shot recently.

“He carried us,” Miles said. “It was really too bad that he struggled the last minute of the game because he put (the team) on his shoulders the 39 minutes before that.”

CSU led 38-30 at halftime after making 4-of-6 three point shots and shooting a scalding 57 percent from the field. The Rams lacked the depth to sustain the lead, only playing five players for more than 30 minutes in the game.

“We had a starter here and a backup there that we couldn’t get going,” Miles said.

This lack of depth led to a 30-8 advantage for TCU in bench points, led by senior forward Craig Williams’ 20. Williams was 4-of-22 from three-point range entering the game, but hit 4-of-5 against CSU.

“They had guys that stepped up and rose to the occasion, and we just didn’t do enough to overcome that,” Miles said.

Fatigue and lack of sharpness was not an issue for the Rams, who hadn’t played a game in a week before Saturday night, as they shot 53 percent from the field and 57 percent from behind the three point line.

“I thought our guys were energetic, ready to play and what hurt us was (TCU’s) three-point shooting was so outstanding,” Miles said.

TCU made 12-of-27 three point field goals and also hit 13-of-16 free throws. The Rams, on the other hand, only made 60 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe.

“It was kind of one thing after another tonight,” Miles said. “We just couldn’t overcome all of that. I don’t think this is an end-of-the-world type of loss. It’s a disappointing loss.”

Men’s Basketball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

Mountain West Standings
UNLV (22-4, 6-2 MW)
San Diego State (20-4, 6-2 MW)
New Mexico (20-4, 6-2 MW)
Wyoming (18-6, 4-4 MW)
CSU (15-8, 4-4 MW)
TCU (14-10, 4-4 MW)
Air Force (11-11, 1-7 MW)
Boise State (11-12, 1-7 MW)

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