After a promising start to the 2010-11 season with wins over Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Denver, the Colorado State menâ€™s basketball team fell to Sam Houston State at home on Saturday, 92-81.
The Rams (2-1, 0-0 MWC) managed to lose a 14-point lead toward the end of the first half and into the second by playing spotty defense and having a rough shooting night from behind the arc.
CSU coach Tim Miles made no excuses for his teamâ€™s first loss of the year.
â€œThey just out-toughed us, out-played us, out-competed us, everything,â€ Miles said. â€œWe just backed down and Iâ€™m not sure we ever fought back.â€
The SHSU Bearkats (3-1) who were CSUâ€™s second opponent of the season fresh off an NCAA Tournament appearance, overcame the first half deficit by pounding the ball in the paint and shooting lights-out from three point range.
The CSU defense allowed SHSU to shoot 52 percent from the field and 8 for 16 from downtown.
â€œOffense wasnâ€™t a problem, it was defense,â€ said senior forward Andy Ogide. â€œThey scored 60 points on 38 possessions (in the second half) and thatâ€™s just unacceptable.â€
Most of the damage came from 6-foot-6 forward Gilberto Clavell, who scored a game-high 29 points and 9 rebounds.
Clavellâ€™s offensive production was nice to see for SHSU coach Jason Hooten because of the struggles the Bearkats have had this season.
â€œItâ€™s a big win, but I tell our guys our schedule is really tough and all we can try to do is concentrate on the next game,â€ Hooten said.
Poor defensive effort turned into fouls for CSU, which committed 32 compared to only 19 for the Bearkats.
CSU once again got productive performances offensively from Ogide and senior Travis Franklin.
Franklin finished with 22 points and Ogide added another 20 points and 7 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Jesse Carr was the only other CSU player to reach double digits with 18 points.
Collectively, CSU shot 23 percent on three-point attempts, going 6 for 26, but did shoot 51 percent from the field overall.
â€œI think we were taking good shots,â€ senior Adam Nigon said. â€œI donâ€™t know, I think it might have been contagious. When somebody starts missing, everybody starts missing.â€
The Rams continued to struggle at the charity stripe as well, shooting 41 percent.
So far this year, CSUâ€™s free throw percentage has dropped each game.
â€œWhat I need to do is a better job of getting them into a highly competitive mood every time we get a chance,â€ Miles said. â€œYou work all year as a player and a coach for just 30 opportunities to prove yourself and itâ€™s my job to have them ready and I didnâ€™t.â€
The Rams have two more home games upcoming this week, first on Wednesday at 6 p.m. against Drake followed by Fresno State on Saturday at 7 p.m.
CSU then travels down to Boulder for a showdown with rival CU on Dec. 8.
Menâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter Cris Tiller can be reached at email@example.com.