Feb 262004
 
Authors: Vince Blaser

The last time the CSU men’s basketball team saw the Wyoming

Cowboys, the student section at Moby Arena rushed the court after

the Rams won in a dramatic overtime 75-74 victory, their third

straight Mountain West Conference win.

How far the Rams have fallen.

CSU (11-14 overall, 3-9 MWC) has lost five straight games and is

tied for last place in the Mountain West with Wyoming (10-15, 3-9)

heading into the 200th matchup of the border rivals, 1 p.m.

Saturday in Laramie, Wyo. The game will be televised by ESPN

Plus.

CSU head coach Dale Layer said the team is on the brink of

playing well enough to end the losing streak, but with only two

games remaining in the regular season, any turnaround would have to

take place quickly.

“Most nights out we’re playing pretty hard and pretty well,

we’re just not quite doing enough of the little things to win

basketball games,” Layer said. “We need to do the little

things.”

The little things the Rams have had problems with all season are

turnovers, offensive rebounds and free throw shooting. CSU has shot

less than 70 percent from the line this season, and is also dead

last in turnovers and assist-to-turnover ratio in the conference,

which contributes to the 73 points a game the team gives up.

However, the Cowboys are not any better, residing at or near the

bottom of many statistical categories in the Mountain West.

In the first matchup against Wyoming, the Rams erased a

second-half deficit and freshman point guard Dwight Boatner’s steal

and lay up with 4.3 seconds left in overtime won the game for

CSU.

Boatner finished that game with 11 points and has scored in

double figures in six of the last eight games.

“He’s showing maturity beyond his years,” Layer said of Boatner.

“He’s making big shots and he’s making good decisions.”

Wyoming point guard Jay Straight burned the Rams late in the

first game, scoring most of his 26 points in the second half and

overtime.

CSU won the first game against Wyoming despite playing without

7-foot center Matt Nelson. Freshman center Stuart Creason, who has

been redshirted, said Nelson’s presence should help the Rams get

their first conference road victory of the season.

“We’ve got to attack the glass pretty hard,” Creason said. “I

don’t think (Wyoming) will be very disciplined blocking us out so

we can get a lot of rebounds we wouldn’t get otherwise.”

Practice ended early Wednesday because of the lingering injury

problems of Nelson and shooting guard Micheal Morris, but Layer

said both should play Saturday.

Colleigan sports reporter Justin Goldman contributed to this

report.

PROBABLE STARTERS

CSU (11-14, 3-9)

G #5 Dwight Boatner 5-11 5.7 ppg

G #32 Micheal Morris 6-3 7.8 ppg

F #13 Freddy Robinson 6-5 9.0 ppg

F #42 Matt Williams 6-6 10.5 ppg

C #54 Matt Nelson 7-0 15.3 ppg

Wyoming (10-15, 3-9)

G #3 Jay Straight 5-11, 16.3 ppg

G #24 Mikel Watson 6-2, 4.8 ppg

G # 4 Dion Sherrell 6-4, 5.2 ppg

F #25 Joe Ries 6-8, 8.0 ppg

C #13 Alex Dunn 7-0, 8.3 ppg

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