Jan 052011
Authors: Cris Tiller

The CSU men’s basketball team overcame a sluggish start to beat the University of Wyoming 73-60 in its Mountain West Conference opener.

The Cowboys (7-8, 0-1) opened the game with intensity, testing the Rams, who entered the game having played eight games in 16 days since a Dec. 23 win against the University of Northern Colorado.

Wyoming’s leading scorer, sophomore Desmar Jackson, set the tempo with a series of three point shots and dunks in the first half en route to scoring a game high 24 points and bringing in 7 rebounds.

CSU coach Tim Miles was impressed with the level of energy Wyoming brought to the first 15 minutes of the game.

“You have to credit Wyoming, they came out with great intensity and great rhythm on offense,” Miles said. “I can’t imagine them putting together a better 15 minutes. That’s a credit to Heath (Schroyer) and that group.”

The Rams (11-4, 1-0 MWC) rallied in the final four minutes of the first half, overcoming a double-digit deficit to cut the Cowboy lead to just 39-37.

CSU senior Andy Ogide believes the rally was a sign of the team’s character.

“It shows we’re resilient, we’re not going to give up no matter how many points we’re down,” Ogide said.

CSU senior guard Adam Nigon sparked the Rams’ offense with a season-best 21 points, thanks to his seven three-pointers.

“I was just in a good rhythm all night,” Nigon said. “I wasn’t really forcing it too much. It just felt good coming out of my hand and it’s a big rivalry game, so I knew I would be amped up to play this game.”

Nigon’s opportunities came from a concentrated effort by Wyoming to slow down Rams’ duo of Ogide and Travis Franklin.

Ogide finished with 13 points and 8 boards, including his second three-pointer of the season.

Franklin was held to just 4 points, making only one field goal all evening.

“When you play in conference you have to pick and choose what you want to take away. We wanted to take away Ogide and Franklin as much as we could,” said Wyoming coach Heath Schroyer. “Nigon beat us…we wanted to make someone else step up and beat us and he did.”

Perhaps the most telling offensive statistic was CSU’s 22 assists on 25 made field goals, illustrating the Rams’ strong distribution efforts.

The Rams’ next contest is on the road against the University of New Mexico at The Pit on Jan. 12 at 8 p.m.

Assistant Sports Editor Cris Tiller can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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