Rams bully the Bulldogs

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Dec 052004
 
Authors: Paul Baker

Using athleticism and the ability to run the floor, the CSU men's basketball team beat Drake 72-62 in front of almost 2,700 people at Moby Arena on Saturday night.

The Rams held the Bulldogs scoreless the last 4:45 of the game to improve their record to 4-2 on the season and 4-0 at home.

"It feels great to have a game with a big crowd. A close game gets the crowd back into it and that's great for us," Williams said.

Senior forward Matt Williams led the Rams with a game-high 23 points and 11-of-13 shooting from the free-throw line.

"Matt Williams had a game we certainly needed from him, a game we expect him to have every night," said head coach Dale Layer.

CSU played well to start off the night, as opposed to other home starts in which the Rams came out slow, flat and without energy. CSU scored on seven of its first eight possessions to start the first half and went on a 6-1 run at the beginning of the game to seemingly take control.

But the Bulldogs were within one at halftime at 32-31 behind the outside shooting of Pete Eggers, who had a team-high 21 points, 11 of which came in the first half, and the inside presence of Aliou Keita, who had 19 points and six rebounds in the first half.

Using its bigger size, the Rams defense dominated Drake in the paint and blocked 11 of the Bulldogs' shots.

"We played a zone against them the whole game; our size enabled it to be a factor," Layer said. "Our zone made them start to play more deliberate."

The Rams used good team defense to outscore the Bulldogs 40-31 in the second half. CSU also cut down on turnovers, which have plagued the team all season.

"The amount of turnovers we had in the second half was excellent," Layer said. "We try and work on it every day in practice and we're getting closer to where we want to be.

A season high of five Rams scored in double figures. Along with Williams, the list included guard Dwight Boatner, who had a season-high 13 points, freshman Jason Smith with 12 points, and center Matt Nelson and guard Micheal Morris each had 10 points.

Nelson was happy with the victory, but he wished that the team could have beaten Auburn or Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis last week.

"We should have won at least one game on the road trip, but it's good to be at home and get a win," Nelson said.

The Rams return to action on Tuesday night to face Montana State at Moby Arena. The game is slated to tip off at 7 p.m.

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