Rams off to fast start

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Nov 282005
 
Authors: Paul Baker

A crowd of nearly 4,400 people sounded more like a packed house Monday night as the Rams took on the Auburn Tigers.

CSU used a 6-0 run to begin the second half to jump-start their offense and set the tone for a 77-67 victory.

"It was a tremendous game for us," head coach Dale Layer said. "It's not often you get an SEC team in here; they played extremely hard."

The Rams continued to use their high-pressure press and high tempo offense to their advantage as they forced 19 Tiger turnovers.

"We are definitely committed to the press," Layer said. "We're not great at it, but we continue to work on it."

The Rams were lead by sophomore Jason Smith, who became the first player since Mike Childress in the 1970-71 season to record three straight double-doubles. Smith finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds on the night.

Smith worked hard underneath the basket as a physical Auburn team made the forward work for each and every basket.

"They were definitely a physical team, but it is good for us because we will see some of the same stuff from the teams we play in conference," Smith said.

The Rams got a big game out of sophomore Stuart Creason, the other 7-footer gracing CSU's offense, as he came off the bench to score a career-high 18 points in 20 minutes of work. He would later foul out of the game late in the second half.

"It's time for me to step up, get a couple more minutes and a couple more points," Creason said.

The Rams held a lead of 10 points in the second half but Auburn put together a run to get the game within three with a three-point basket by guard Quantez Robertson. That was as close as the Rams would allow, as CSU used another 6-0 run to finish the game.

Josh Dollard, who tallied 18 points and five rebounds, led the Tigers while Barber Korvotney followed him with 10 points and eight rebounds.

The Rams set a school record as they blocked 12 shots against the Tigers. Senior guard Micheal Morris showed his leadership on the court as he pulled down a career-high13 rebounds in 36 minutes for the Rams. He also swatted a crucial shot attempt during the Tigers' late run at the end of the game.

"Micheal played a terrific basketball game for us in many ways. He calmed us down, made some post feeds and rebounded the ball nicely," Layer said.

The Rams are now 5-0 for the first time since the 2001 season, and are 4-0 at home. The team will take a much need break as they completed five games in 11 days. The Rams' next game is against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis when they come to town Saturday.

A Glance at the Ram Starters

FG- FGA FT-FTA REB A PTS

Smith, Jason 6-13 9-11 11 0 21

Harrison, Michael 2-7 0-8 2 1 12

Morris, Sean 2-6 2-4 1 3 7

Lewis, Cory 2-8 3-6 4 6 7

Morris, Micheal 2-3 1-2 13 3 6

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