Finals week is a burden on all of CSU’s population — even the men’s basketball team.
With the final week of school looming, the Rams won a sloppy, turnover-filled game Saturday over Montana.
The Rams turned the ball over 17 times and only shot 50 percent from the free throw line in a game in which the game clock malfunctioned throughout and began with a botched National Anthem.
“Amy Ruley was the head coach at North Dakota State, and she used to say the worst week to play basketball was the week before finals, and I think she’s right,” CSU coach Tim Miles said.
Fortunately, the team has a break this week and won’t return to the court until Sunday against Northern Arizona (2-5).
“Now we’ve got eight days to rest and get our finals knocked out, and we can kind of catch our breath a little bit and come back ready to work next Sunday,” junior guard Adam Nigon said after the game Saturday.
With the win Saturday, the Rams improved to 7-3, including 5-0 at Moby Arena. Sunday’s match-up against Northern Arizona concludes a four-game home stand for the Rams before heading out on the road against UCLA (2-6).
“Those are obviously important games,” Miles said. “We’ve got to go to work this week and get better in practice because we’ve got another two-game run here.”
The 5-0 home start and overall 7-3 start to season are the best since the 2006-2007 season when the Rams started 10-2, winning their first six at home.
Nearly 2,500 fans attended the game Saturday, down from the 5,293 in Moby against CU-Boulder, but Miles said the atmosphere at Moby is improving.
“To have a raucous crowd or a crowd that’s into it really helps. The fans that come are good. We need to go get those fans that are really good that are down in Old Town tonight or in their dorms, or frats or sororities or wherever they are,” Miles said.
The student sections were not as filled Saturday, but Nigon said the team needs to continue winning to draw those fans.
“If we just keep winning, they’ll start coming. They’ll hop on the wagon,” Nigon said.
Basketball Beat Reporter Stephen Meyers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.