Nov 072004
 
Authors: Paul Baker

Get used to hearing, “Jon Rakiecki for three” this basketball

season.

Senior guard Jon Rakiecki shot the lights out on Saturday

afternoon, as the Rams won their first preseason game 80-77 against

Northern State.

At one point during the first half, Rakiecki made three 3-point

baskets in a row swinging the momentum from the Wolves to the

Rams.

“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

game.

“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

you.”

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.

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