RAMS CLOSE SEASON AT HOME

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Mar 042004
 
Authors: Justin Goldman

The men’s basketball team finishes its regular season against

the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday at 3 p.m. inside Moby Arena. CSU

is looking to halt a seven-game losing streak before the Mountain

West Conference Tournament starts on March 11.

“I thought our efforts have been terrific lately,” said head

coach Dale Layer. “We just aren’t doing the little things it takes

to win these games.”

Layer has been forced into difficult lineup situations lately as

starting guard Michael Morris was forced to watch from the bench

during the loss to Wyoming due to the nagging of a sprained left

ankle.

The Rams are 11-15 overall and have solidified their last-place

seeding in the MWC tournament. In February, the Rams lost all of

their games, going 0-7.

Center Matt Nelson made his first start in Wyoming after

re-injuring his right knee in an overtime win against UNLV on Jan.

26. Nelson is expected to start on Saturday and only needs five

points to move up to 10th on the all-time career-scoring list.

The New Mexico Lobos are 14-12 overall and 5-8 in the MWC. The

Lobos have lost four of their last five but are still tied for

fifth in the conference. Although New Mexico has lost 25 straight

road games, the Rams, looking to gain momentum going into the

tournament, are still taking them seriously.

“We’re taking steps forward,” said Ronnie Clark on KIIX, 1410.

“We’re getting better and we’re trying to play more as a team.”

Clark scored 10 points and had a game-high eight rebounds

against the Wyoming Cowboys last Saturday. He has scored in

double-figures 12 times this season and has shot 50-percent or

better from the field 14 times this season.

“We’re not going to quit and it’s going to help us towards the

Mountain West Tournament,” Clark said.

During halftime, CSU will be honoring their most successful

basketball team in history. Members of the team from 1969-including

coach Jim Williams-will be remembered for their amazing run in

which they had a 17-7 record and barely missed a trip to the Final

Four by losing to Drake University.

Williams coached the Rams for 26 straight seasons and was also

the director of athletics during the 1960’s.

Rams fans should watch for freshman Dwight Boatner, who has been

a big help in light of the injuries that have plagued the team over

the last two months.

“Boat has stepped up and that’s what freshman do,” Layer said.

“He’s probably had one bad game in the last seven. He’s crucial to

our success.”

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