Rams drop another

Jan 302005
Authors: Jon Pilsner

Colorado State 56, Wyoming 69

Colorado State 30 26 56

Wyoming 22 47 69

Colorado State – Smith 1, 2-2, 4; Creason 1, 4-4, 6; Nelson 4, 7-10, 15; S. Morris 3, 0-0, 8; Patterson 0, 2-2, 2; Lohrey 0, 0-0, 0; Ball 0, 0-0, 0; Rakiecki 3, 0-0, 9; Thomasson 0, 0-0, 0; Brown 0, 0-0, 0; M. Morris 5, 2-5, 12; Verwers 0, 0-0, 0. Totals 17, 17-23, 56.

Wyoming – Webb 5, 4-5, 14; Williams 3, 4-6, 10; Dunn 1, 5-6, 7; Sherrell 5, 0-0, 5; Straight 3, 4-5, 12; Leven 1, 0-1, 2; Lewis 1, 0-1, 2; Ebert 1, 2-2, 4; Anderson 0, 0-0, 0; Wabbington 1, 0-0, 2. Totals 21, 22-29, 69.

Rebounds – Wyoming 51 (Straight 9); Colorado State 34 (Smith 6). 3-point baskets – Wyoming 5-16 (Sherrell 3-5); Colorado State 5-16 (Rakiecki 3-8). Technical fouls – none.

A – 10,025

LARAMIE, Wyo. – A golden opportunity wasted. Now at 17, the streak lives on.

Up by as much as 12, the CSU men's basketball team promptly squandered its best first-half effort on the road and lost the Wyoming Cowboys 69-56 before a crowd of 10,025 at Arena-Auditorium Saturday.

The Cowboys used a 24-3 run midway through the second half to erase an eight-point halftime lead and bury the Rams in the season's first installment of the Border War.

"I'm proud of their effort. I thought that late in the game, when it got tough in the second half, we've got freshmen playing 70 minutes, and they've got freshmen playing no minutes, and I thought their experience showed," said CSU coach Dale Layer. "Our inexperience showed."

It was the Rams' 17th-straight road loss, and it landed CSU a last-place spot in the Mountain West Conference, a half game behind Brigham Young, who was idle this weekend.

A physical and tough first half caused both teams to shoot poorly. The Rams (9-10, 1-5 MWC) shot only 31 percent from the field, but the Cowboys (11-8, 3-3) had even more problems, making 6-of-29 shots, 20.7 percent.

From the whole the game, CSU shot 28.8 percent from the field, while Wyoming shot 35.6 percent. Senior center Matt Nelson led the Rams with 15 points, but he was only 4-of-12 from the field.

Freshmen Jason Smith and Stuart Creason, CSU's other 7-footers, were a combined 2-of-17 from the field and combined for only 10 points.

All three centers had trouble with fouls. Smith fouled out late in the second, and Creason and Nelson both ended with four fouls each. All were subjected to physical play in the paint.

Wyoming, in the top 20-nationally in blocks per game, had eight total, six coming from Justin Williams, who also had five offensive rebounds and 10 points.

"We knew this game was going to be tough," Nelson said. "They're a physical team."

Wyoming stormed back from a 30-22 halftime deficit in the second half, hitting three straight three-point buckets to erase a nine-point CSU lead and ignite the run. It was the Cowboys first lead since the very beginning of the game.

CSU fell apart from there, throwing the ball away and reverting back to its old, sloppy, style of play with bad turnovers and poor shot selection. The Rams were out-hustled, outplayed, and out-matched.

Wyoming would by as many as 11 with just over six minutes to play. Sean Morris hit a 3-point basket with 1:54 remaining to cut the Cowboy lead to six, but it was as close as the Rams would come.

Jay Straight put in a layup with .3 seconds to go in the game, but apologized afterward and said he didn't mean to run up the score. Straight said he though the game was over because people were running onto the court.

Senior Matt Williams missed the game with a virus.



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