Feb 082006
 
Authors: Paul Baker

For the third straight home game, the Rams failed to get a shot off in the closing seconds of the game to tie the score.

With 5.5 seconds left in the game, New Mexico forward David Chiotti made one of two free throws to put the Lobos up 80-78. CSU guard Cory Lewis took the in-bound pass and drove the ball down the court but tripped as he tried to attack the basket, ending the game.

"I was confident that he would make a big play and it didn't happen," head coach Dale Layer said following the game.

The Lobos escaped in a close one by a final score of 80-78, to move to 14-9 on the season, and 5-5 in the Mountain West Conference.

"The team that made big shots down the stretch won the game," Layer said. "We got to try to find a way to win a game; we had some good minutes but that five to six minute stretch at the end of the game killed us.

The Rams lead at half time 34-29, and opened up the second half with a six-point run. After that the Rams went cold, scoring only three points over the next four minutes and turning the ball over on four possessions.

New Mexico meanwhile scored on six of eight possessions over that period to pull even at 43-43.

The game remained close until New Mexico guard Mark Walters hit two 3-point baskets on consecutive possessions to put the Lobos in front 71-68, a lead that they would not be relinquished.

"Coach drew up a couple of plays in the huddle that allowed me to create a little more space," Walters said.

Walters lead the Lobos with a game-high 21 points to go with five assists.

Chiotti backed him up with 14 points and eight rebounds.

"Walters stepped up for them and made two huge baskets," Layer said.

It was the first time in the game that the Lobo guards were able to create space for themselves as the Rams used good defense by senior forward Freddy

Robinson and Micheal Morris.

"Freddy (Robinson) had a good game," sophomore center Stuart Creason said.

"When he wants he can be one of the best defenders in the Mountain West.

Robinson lead the Rams with 15 points, going 6-for-6 from the field before fouling out of the game with just over five minutes to play. Junior forward

Michael Harrison also had 15 points, while Lewis contributed 13 points and eight assists.

The Rams (12-11, 1-9) now has a week off before traveling to Salt Lake City to take on Utah. "I think our team is physically and mentally tired," Layer said. "We'll take a few days off and then continue to fight.

NAME, MIN FGM-FGA REB A PTS

CSU- Robinson, 13 6-6 3 0 15; Smith 34 3-8 10 2 8; Harrison, 24 5-7 3 2 15;

Lewis, 30 3-5 1 8 13; Gilling, 29 4-10 4 0 11; Harris, 10 0-1 1 3 0;

Patterson, 25 3-4 2 3 8; Creason, 23 2-4 4 0 6; Morris M, 12 1-2 1 0 2. UNM-

Chiotti, 36 6-11 8 6 14; Box, 20 3-9 2 0 7; Walters, 34 5-11 5 5 21; Kerstn,

10 0-0 0 1 1; Danridge, 8 0-2 1 1 0; Walter, 6 2-3 1 0 8; Collins, 30 4-6 5 3

13; Prentice, 8 2-3 0 0 6; Harden, 7 1-3 0 0 2; Toppert, 14 2-4 1 3 6;

Prochaska, 27 1-5 1 0 2.

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