Swingman Freddy Robinson was red hot, but the CSU men’s
basketball team remained ice cold.
Robinson exploded for 31 points and eight rebounds, both career
highs, in front of 11,300 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las
Vegas Saturday. However, the rest of the CSU men’s basketball team
didn’t follow suit and the Rams (11-13 overall, 3-8 Mountain West
Conference) dropped their fifth straight conference game in a 94-79
loss to Nevada-Las Vegas (14-9, 5-5).
“I was just feeling it in warm-ups,” Robinson said on 1410 KIIX
radio after the game. The 6-foot-5 sophomore, who had scored in
double figures only once in the previous eight games, nearly
doubled his previous career high of 16 points and became the first
CSU player to top the 30-point mark this season.
Behind Robinson’s performance, which included four 3-pointers,
the Rams cut a 16-point UNLV lead to five points with 10 minutes,
56 seconds left to play in the second half. CSU would get no
closer, however, because the Rebels responded with a 15-4 run over
the next 3:13 to make the score 73-57 and put the game out of
“It hurts when we play hard like that and can’t get a ‘W’,”
UNLV built a huge lead off of 13 first-half turnovers committed
by CSU and the inside play of forwards Odartey Blankson, J.K.
Edwards and James Peters. The Rebels went on 12-0 run early in the
first half to extend an 8-7 lead to 20-7.
UNLV had five players in double figures and scored more points
than any other team against CSU this season.
“We got caught in an up-and-down game tonight and we can’t do
that,” CSU head coach Dale Layer said on KIIX. “Their post
absolutely dominated our post for most of the night.”
Forward Matt Williams really struggled against the Rebels. The
6-6 junior, who averages 10.8 points and 5.9 boards per game,
managed just six points and 0 rebounds while committing four fouls
and five turnovers in 16 minutes of action.
“Most of our starters, except Freddy, I was really disappointed
with,” Layer said. “I’m struggling with who I can count on game in
and game out.”
Besides Robinson, CSU’s four other starters combined for 11
turnovers and just 15 points. However, center Matt Nelson had his
second straight solid game coming off the bench since returning
from a sprained right knee. Nelson went 6-of-9 from the field,
scoring 13 points and grabbing six rebounds.
The Rams will take on the San Diego State Aztecs (13-12, 4-6) at
7 p.m. tonight at Cox Arena in San Diego. Tied with Wyoming for
last place in the Mountain West, the Rams are desperate for their
first road win in conference play.
“We need (a win) real bad,” Robinson said.
Swingman Freddy Robinson had the best game of his college
career, exploding for 31 points and eight rebounds, both career
highs. He went 11-for-29 from the field, including 4-of-9 from
3-point range. Robinson became the first CSU player to top the
30-point mark this season.
UNLV’s 94 points were the most any team has scored against CSU
this season. The Rams continued to get burned by big runs, giving
up a 12-0 run in the first half and a 15-4 run in the second half
to put the game out of reach.
The Rams committed 13 turnovers in the first half and 20 for the
game. Guard Shelton Johnson did not suit up for CSU because of a