The CSU basketball team rode a career-high 28 points from senior Andy Ogide on Saturday night in Salt Lake City to defeat the Utah Utes, 74-68.
The Rams held an 11-point lead with 10 minutes to play, but allowed the Utes (10-11, 3-4 MWC) to go on a 15-4 run to tie the game at 68 with just under three minutes remaining.
But CSU (15-6, 5-2 MWC) responded with a layup from Ogide to give the Rams a lead that they would not relinquish, as CSU scored the final six points of the game.
The game-winning layup was the perfect finish to a career-night for Ogide, who scored 20 first-half points, including his 1,000th point as a Ram. He is only the 18th CSU player to reach that milestone.
Ogide also added 10 rebounds to give him a double-double for the seventh time this season.
â€œAndy was terrific,â€ said coach Tim Miles. â€œHe did so many things well for us tonight. Thatâ€™s what seniors do. He came out determined to have a big game, and he had a huge game.â€
One of Ogideâ€™s accomplishments was hitting the three-point shot.
Coming into the game he had only made four career three-pointers. On Saturday, the senior hit three triples on four attempts, taking advantage of a Utah defense that was content giving him outside looks.
â€œThey stayed off of me, and I was able to get those shots all day and knock them down,â€ Ogide said.
While Ogide carried much of the load, the Rams exhibited excellent depth in capturing their fifth conference victory of the season.
That depth was necessary, as Wes Eikmeier missed his second consecutive game with a foot injury and foul trouble limited Travis Franklin.
Greg Smith started for the first time in his career, and he took advantage of the opportunity. The sophomore scored 14 points, including an impressive one-armed putback while being fouled that gave the Rams an 11-point lead at the time.
Adam Nigon added 11 points, hitting three times from beyond the arc. He also tied a career-high with five steals.
The win was the second consecutive conference road win for the Rams.
â€œItâ€™s an excellent road win,â€ Miles said. â€œI thought our guys did a really good job. We controlled the tempo for the whole night. When they ran at us at the end, we made enough defensive plays and hustle plays that allowed us to win the game.â€
The Rams continue to sit in third place in the Mountain West Conference, just one game behind leaders BYU and San Diego State. CSU will play host to the one-loss Aztecs this Wednesday at 7:15 p.m.
Menâ€™s basketball Beat Reporter Kevin Lytle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.