The CSU Rams seemed a little out of sync for much their 75-66 victory Wednesday over the Northern Colorado Bears, and the stat sheet backed that up.
Reigning MWC player of the week Jason Smith played less than half the game because of foul trouble, but managed to record a double-double and lead the Rams with 20 points, 12 of them coming from the free throw line.
However, Smith was outshined by Cory Lewis, a 6-foot guard, who recorded another double-double for the Rams, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, a stat that impressed his head coach Dale Layer.
“Eleven rebounds is amazing for a player of his size,” said Layer of Lewis’ career high game on the glass, while adding that Lewis may not exactly be as tall as he is listed in the media guide.
In a game of streaks, the Rams managed to have the last, crucial run of the game in their 75-66 victory over the UNC Bears.
CSU jumped out to a 19-9 lead early, but the Bears held them without a field goal for more than 9 minutes late in the first half and pulled the game to a 30-28 game at half.
In the second half UNC continued their run, leading 51-47 with less than 10 minutes to go in the game, keyed by Sean Taibi who hit 23 points, and Kirk Archibeque who added 17 points in the game.
The Rams defense clamped down when they switched to the press, and Cory Lewis said that was the key as the Rams ended that game on a 28-15 run to close out the game.
“The press picks us up and gives us energy and easy buckets,” he said. “We got energy and kept the momentum going.”
Men’s basketball beat writer Matthew Pucak can be reached at email@example.com.