Jan. 16, 2013
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FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Colorado State's men's basketball team had a record-setting night Wednesday in its conference home opener, downing the Air Force Falcons, 79-40, for the program's 23rd straight home victory, a new school record.
In the 100th meeting between the two schools Colorado State (14-3, 1-1 MW) out-rebounded, out-hustled and out-shot the Falcons from the opening tip.
Wes Eikmeier led all scorers with 17 points in addition to dishing out four assists, adding to CSU's total of 20 helpers on the night, the second most of the season.
"I thought Wes was special tonight," said Head Coach Larry Eustachy. "It was almost like an old-school Kobe Bryant game where he focused on getting his teammates involved first and then took over when challenged in the second half."
Colorado State once again relied on its stifling defense to set the tone and upset the Falcon's rhythm.
Air Force (9-6, 1-2 MW) was held to just 37 percent shooting (17-of-46) and did not have a player score in double digits. Michael Lyons, who ranks second in the Mountain West in scoring this season, was limited to eight points tying Todd Fletcher as Air Force's leading scorer.
The Rams controlled most of the first half, shooting an impressive 54.2 percent (13-of-24) from the floor, leading 34-19 at the break.
The second half was much of the same for Eustachy's squad, which went on a 12-2 run to begin the second period. CSU outscored the Falcons, 45-21, while shooting 48.4 percent in what was a physical final twenty minutes of the game.
Colton Iverson, who scored the Rams' first seven points of the game, finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. Iverson along with Pierce Hornung and Greg Smith dominated the inside game, outscoring Air Force 38-20 in the paint, on top of winning the rebounding battle 40-19.
"They're very physical," said Air Force Head Coach Dave Pilipovich. "They're very strong, they play extremely hard and they came at us."
The 39-point margin of victory stands as the largest for a CSU team over a conference opponent since the formation of the Mountain West conference in 1999-2000.
"We have a lot of good players from top to bottom," said Hornung. "That is what you want from a team; you want depth and you want everyone contributing and we did a good job of that tonight."
The 23-game home winning streak surpasses the previous record of 22 games set between 1960-62 when the Rams played at the South College Gym.
CSU will look to extend that streak Saturday as CSU welcomes RV/23 UNLV to Moby Arena in a nationally televised game broadcast on NBC Sports Network. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. MST. The game will serve as the Rams' annual "White Out" game, and fans are encouraged to wear white to the game.