Jan. 4, 2011
Final Stats |
By Zach Balside
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Like always, when the Rams needed a boost, the senior from Broomfield answered the call.
Senior guard Adam Nigon connected on a career-high seven three-point baskets to total 21 points on the evening, propelling the CSU Rams (11-4, 1-0 MWC) to a 73-60 win over the Wyoming Cowboys (7-8, 0-1 MWC) on Tuesday night at Moby Arena.
The win gives the Rams back-to-back conference-opening wins for the first time since the formation of the Mountain West Conference. The Rams won their conference-opener at Wyoming last year.
"It feels good to have a target on your back," Nigon said. "We're starting to get some love and publicity. I think that's why we're starting out slow because every team is looking at us like we're a contender and I think that's great. We've got to match their intensity and know that we have a target on our back."
Wyoming got off to a strong start, shooting 56 percent in the first half and opening up a 39-26 lead with 5:10 remaining. CSU responded with eight straight points to end the half down only 39-37, and then scored eight more to start the second half. Wes Eikmeier hit from long range in the first minute of the second frame to give the Rams their first lead at 42-39.
In all, the Rams went on a 29-8 run that started in the first half to take control of the game.
Strong play from sophomore forward Pierce Hornung, who grabbed 12 rebounds (the second-largest total of his career), including five on the offensive end, helped contribute to the win.
"Pierce changed the game," Head Coach Tim Miles said. "Our bench guys won the game."
CSU stayed consistent from deep all night long, making 14-of-27 (51.9 percent) for the evening. The 14 threes tied for second-most in school history. It was the first time the Rams had made more than 10 three-pointers in a game since the Rams' 80-64 home win last season over Wyoming, when they made 10-of-15 attempts.
Wyoming converted on just 26.1 percent of its shots in the second half, including going 0-for-8 from three-point land.
A boisterous crowd of 4,060 might have helped some of the Cowboys' shots miss.
"The crowd was awesome," Miles said. "We needed it. Best band in the country."
Joining Nigon in double-digit scoring were Andy Ogide and Eikmeier, who scored 13 and 11 points, respectively. Ogide also had eight rebounds, and Dorian Green tallied a season-high six assists.
Wyoming was led by sophomore guard Desmar Jackson, who scored 24 points.
CSU's next contest will be in The Pit at New Mexico on Jan. 12, at 8 p.m. MT, and will be televised on The Mtn. In the teams' previous meeting, the Rams took the then-No. 10/12 Lobos all the way to the wire before falling 72-66 at Moby Arena.
CSU hopes to keep the momentum from this strong win rolling into the matchup.
"I think we're veteran enough that we know we've got to keep the energy through every Mountain West game we play," Ogide said. "We can't take a night off. Just going down to The Pit, that's going to give us energy in itself. It's a great atmosphere and an opportunity to get a win."