Men's basketball recap: Rams buck Broncos, run win streak to eight
Jan. 17, 2012
By Danny Mattie
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The Colorado State men’s basketball team ran its winning streak to eight games Tuesday night, as the Rams (13-4, 2-0 MW) picked up a 66-55 victory over the Boise State Broncos (10-7, 0-2) in the programs’ first matchup as Mountain West foes.
Junior guard Dorian Green turned in an all-conference-caliber performance on a night when the league’s leading scorer, backcourt mate Wes Eikmeier, struggled to find his shot against a determined Boise State defense.
Green was solid from tipoff to the final horn, tallying 20 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals, all without a single turnover in 36 minutes of action for the Rams.
“I think Wes had a lot of attention paid to him, and Kaipo (Sabas) was really solid tonight,” said Head Coach Tim Miles. “Now that opens up lanes for Dorian, and Dorian is good at driving the ball. He’s not just a one-dimensional guy. I thought he took what the defense gave him.”
Indeed Green showed another dimension of his game, getting the raucous student sections at each end of the court on their feet with a pair of thunderous breakaway dunks. The second of Green’s dunks was part of a key 8-0 run in the second half that also included his assist on a Will Bell fast break jam. The run gave the Rams their largest lead of the night, 17 points, at 54-37 with 10:23 left in the contest.
“I thought my second one was good until I passed it back to Will,” said Green, who was also 2-of-3 from three-point range. “He showed me how you are supposed to dunk it.
“They were just energy plays. I was feeling good tonight and had high energy. I got out there, kind of surprised myself, and just dunked it.”
The Rams did more than dunk to bring the Moby crowd to its feet, shooting 9-of-16 (.563) as a team from beyond the arc, led by senior guard Kaipo Sabas, who rewarded Miles’ recent decision to put him on scholarship with a 3-for-3 performance from three-point range.
“If anything, it (receiving a scholarship) made me play harder,” said the former walk-on Sabas. “I worked so hard to get it and now that I have it, I can’t just stop. I have to keep working and show that (Coach Miles) gave it to me for a reason.”
Sabas finished with 13 points, five rebounds and two assists, while junior forward Greg Smith rebounded from a scoreless game Saturday vs. TCU to finish with 10 points (including a pair of treys) and six rebounds in 24 minutes of action.
BSU’s Westly Perryman tallied a career-high 16 points, as the Rams held the Broncos’ top scorer, freshman Anthony Drmic, to just two points. Drmic, however, pulled down a career-best 12 rebounds in the loss.
The win also marked the Rams’ eighth straight at Moby Arena and gives the program its best 17-game start since 2006-07 - the last time the team rattled off a longer overall winning streak (nine games). But the Rams are not content heading into Saturday’s “Border War” at Wyoming.
“It feels good,” said Green of CSU’s eight-game swing. “I think we have been playing well, but we have to keep it going. We have a tough game coming up at Wyoming. We can’t dwell on eight straight. We need to focus on making it nine.”
Miles echoed Green’s sentiment, saying the same thing he’s said following each game of the streak: “I’ll be happier when it’s nine.”
The Rams will have the opportunity to extend their win steak Saturday in hostile territory, heading to UW’s Arena-Auditorium to take on the rival Cowboys. CSU has also won four straight against the Wyoming heading into the contest, which will be televised live nationally on the Mtn. beginning at 4 p.m. MT.