Jan. 19, 2013
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By Chris Feller
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado State men’s basketball team used clutch free-throw shooting and a timely offensive rebound to secure a 66-61 victory over the nationally ranked UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (RV/23), to extend the program’s school-record win streak to 24.
CSU (15-3, 2-1 MW) shot a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe in the final 3:23 of the game providing the Rams just enough cushion to pull away from the Runnin’ Rebels (15-4, 2-2 MW).
In a game that featured 10 ties and 14 leads changes CSU had little room for error down the stretch but managed to make all the right plays in crunch time, outscoring UNLV 10-2 to end the game.
With a 62-59 cushion and 37 seconds remaining in the game senior F Pierce Hornung grabbed a key offensive rebound off a Dorian Green missed three-pointer to prevent the Runnin’ Rebels a shot at tying the contest. Green was fouled with 22 second left and knocked down two free throws sealing the Rams’ second conference win of the 2012-13 season.
With Wes Eikmeier in foul trouble for the majority of the game Green willed Colorado State to victory, finishing with a game-high 24 points, while shooting a flawless 8-of-8 from the line.
“(Dorian) is twice the player that he was last year,” said Head Coach Larry Eustachy. “He does everything now, but I think he has another gear which he hasn’t experienced before, but he is starting to.”
UNLV’s Anthony Marshall had an answer for Green’s heroics however, carrying the Runnin’ Rebels in the second half. Marshall scored 21 points, 15 of which coming in the second period, driving to the basket at will.
The Runnin’ Rebels’ star freshman Anthony Bennett was held to a season-low nine points much in part to the defense and all-around play of senior forward Greg Smith.
“I think Greg is a better player than he thinks, and he can do more things than he thinks,” added Eustachy. “We don’t win the game without him.”
Smith wasn’t the only CSU player to step up defensively. The Rams held UNLV to just 27.6 percent (8-of-29) shooting in the first half and prevented the Runnin’ Rebels from scoring for a stretch of more than seven minutes before the break.
“It was the first experience for some of our guys with how physical Coach Eustachy’s teams are,” said UNLV head coach Dave Rice. “It was hard for us to get a post catch, hard for us to drive the lane and that’s credit to Colorado State and how tough and physical they are.”
On the offensive side of the court CSU ended the game shooting 38.9 percent (21-of-54) from the field, in addition to shooting 19-of-21 from the free throw line.
A total of 7,626 fans saw the Rams extend the school-record home win streak to 24 games, a season-high that Eustachy was more than pleased to see.
“I don’t think we win this game on a neutral court,” added Eustachy. “They really pulled us through it.”
The win also marks the fourth-straight victory at home over a ranked opponent.
CSU goes for a third straight win Wednesday as the Rams travel to No. 19/21 New Mexico. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. MT and will be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.