Mar 022008
 
Authors: Nick Hubel

The men’s basketball team lost its 15th straight game over the weekend, an 86-62 blowout at the hands of San Diego State.

The Rams (6-22, 0-14) remain winless in the conference and extended their road losing streak to 19 with the loss. They have not won a true road game (on an opponent’s home court) yet this year.

“We were outclassed,” CSU coach Tim Miles told Rich Bircumshaw of the CSU sports radio network after the game. “What I mean by that is that there was just a lot of talent on the floor that we couldn’t contend with.”

Sending the team further into its current spiral was an early injury to junior point guard Willis Gardner’s shoulder. Gardner had previously separated both of his shoulders and is scheduled for corrective surgery after the Mountain West tournament in less than two weeks, but had been playing though the injury.

The latest separation, which happened just five minutes into Saturday’s game, puts Gardner’s future this season into question yet again. Miles said that they would evaluate his range of motion this week and see if they would have to shut him down for the year or not.

In Gardner’s absence, freshman Jesse Woodard took over most of the point guard duties for the night, finishing with 11 points and one assist in 25 minutes. Woodard was responsible for six of the Rams’ 11 turnovers.

CSU was led by junior shooting guard Marcus Walker with 15 points. Freshman forward Andre McFarland had 13 points and six rebounds (four offensive).

“I thought that he looked like a Mountain West player tonight,” coach Miles said of McFarland. “He made some plays, came out of nowhere and got offensive rebounds, and I thought he did a pretty nice job.”

Disappointingly the Rams got just six points and three rebounds out of 7-foot senior center Stuart Creason, both far below his statistical averages.

Still, coach Miles put the loss on the shoulders of the team’s defense, which surrendered 40 points in the paint and 17 points off turnovers.

“We didn’t have a defensive mentality that we needed to tonight. We didn’t have a sense of urgency,” Miles said.

The road to the first conference win of the year doesn’t get easier for the Rams as they close out the season. CSU will play the Utah Utes in Salt Lake City on Tuesday before finishing the regular season with the Mountain West’s third-ranked New Mexico Lobos in Moby on Saturday.

Tuesday’s game is set for a 7 p.m. tip.

Sports writer Nick Hubel can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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