Get used to hearing, “Jon Rakiecki for three” this basketball
Senior guard Jon Rakiecki shot the lights out on Saturday
afternoon, as the Rams won their first preseason game 80-77 against
At one point during the first half, Rakiecki made three 3-point
baskets in a row swinging the momentum from the Wolves to the
“At that point, I called for the ball every time down the
court,” Rakiecki said. “When you’re hot, you can take a shot from
wherever you are on the court.”
The Rams started off the game strong, getting the ball down to
senior Matt Nelson in the post for two quick scores.
“Getting the ball inside early was key,” Nelson said.
But after the quick start to the game, the mistakes from the
Rams started to build up. Defensive breakdowns, missed shots from
the paint and turnovers allowed the Wolves to get back into the
“I was very disappointed in our defense tonight,” said head
coach Dale Layer. “We had a lot of defensive breakdowns and our
rebounding is not where it should be.”
Going into the break, the Rams led 43-35, behind Rakiecki
shooting 5-of-8 for 15 points.
During the second half, the Rams got back to getting the ball to
their strength: the big men. The Rams scored all but nine of the 37
second-half points in the paint. Freshmen forward Jason Smith and
center Stuart Creason both recorded 10 points on the night.
“I thought we were pretty nervous when the game started, but as
the game went on we definitely settled down,” Nelson said.
The Rams made the game close in the end, as the Wolves, led by
Craig Nelson, converted on a couple of key CSU turnovers. With five
minutes left in the game, the Wolves went on a 12-0 run that lasted
4:30 and eventually tied the game 77-77.
On the next CSU possession, Nelson was fouled under the basket.
After he made 1-of-2 from the line, the Rams came up with two big
defensive stops against the Wolves. The Rams then clinched the game
with a Michael Morris dunk to make the score 80-77.
“We were extremely inconsistent today, but (that is) what these
types of games are for,” Layer said. “Seeing what guys can do for
CSU has one more exhibition game this year before the regular
season starts on Nov. 20 against Regis University. The Rams host
CSU-Pueblo at 7 p.m. Thursday at Moby Area.