Jan. 21, 2010
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By Alan Rakowski
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Freshman point guard Dorian Green registered 20 points and junior forward Travis Franklin added 17, but inconsistent foul shooting down the stretch proved costly to the Rams, as they fell, 80-72, to UNLV at Moby Arena Wednesday night.
The loss is the first by the Rams at home this season. With the loss, CSU falls to 2-2 in conference play, and 11-7 overall.
In a game that saw eight ties and 16 lead changes, and largest leads of eight and seven by UNLV and CSU, respectively, the Rams let a very winnable game slip away.
“I felt for a long time tonight we were going to win this one,” CSU Head Coach Tim Miles said. “We gave this game away. It’s frustrating to me. Credit UNLV; I thought they played really well.”
A crowd of 4,353 was on hand to witness a high-octane contest that included a combined 112 field-goal attempts, in the 38th meeting between the two teams.
A four-point play by UNLV’s freshman guard Justin Hawkins gave the Runnin’ Rebels a 30-27 advantage with just over 5 minutes to play in the half, and they led by five at the break.
The Rams came out of the locker room at the half fired up, hustling for loose balls and working on the defensive end. They began the second half on a 7-2 run, and recaptured the lead less than 3 minutes in. The lead see-sawed back and forth, and a trey by Green with just over 6 minutes left to play knotted the game up at 65.
But Tre’Von Willis and Chace Stanback performed well in the closing minutes for UNLV (15-4, 3-2 MWC), scoring 14 and 15 points, respectively, in the second half. Willis, the Rebels’ leading scorer (27.1 ppg) coming into Wednesday’s game, tallied 21 points, and Stanback finished with a career-high 19.
Green’s 20 points were just one short of his career high, which he recorded against Colorado on Dec. 10. Franklin scored 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field and also pulled down nine boards, but shot just 3-of-14 from the free-throw line. CSU finished the game a combined 16-of-28 from the stripe, compared to UNLV’s 19-of-23.
The Rams were not able to come away with the win, but the players and coaches acknowledged how instrumental the fans were at Moby.
“It helps, it’s tremendous,” Nigon said about the crowd support at home. “It helps a lot if we can just keep them coming. I hate that we didn’t get the win for them tonight.”
The Rams will look to bounce back on the road on Saturday when they take on New Mexico at The Pit. Tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m. MT and the game will air live on the Mtn.