Jan. 27, 2010
By Alan Rakowski
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Freshman forward Greg Smith tallied a career-high 15 points, and junior forward Andy Ogide recorded his first double-double (14 points and 10 rebounds) of the season, as CSU defeated TCU, 63-57, Wednesday night at Moby Arena.
With the win, the Rams (12-8, 3-3 MWC) ended a three-game losing streak and improved to 9-1 at home.
In a game that was neck and neck for virtually all 40 minutes, the Rams got the stops they needed in crunch time to register their 12th win of the season.
“We are an improved defensive team and I think we won tonight on defense,” CSU Head Coach Tim Miles said.
It was a sluggish first half for both teams, and CSU didn’t score its first basket until 4 minutes had elapsed on the clock. Senior forward Mame Bocar Ba flushed a one-handed tip-slam in with 53 seconds remaining in the half to tie the game at 29 heading into intermission.
CSU’s largest lead was just one in the first half, but it opened a six-point lead with 13:33 remaining in the game, after a pair of free throws by Smith.
TCU (10-11, 2-4 MWC) responded, however, thanks to the play of Edvinas Ruzgas, a senior guard from Vilnius, Lithuania. Ruzgas, who finished the night with 14 points and six rebounds, scored 10 straight points for the Horned Frogs beginning at the 4:10 mark of the second half.
Ruzgas’ late blitz cut the Rams’ lead to 58-55 with just under 2 minutes remaining in the contest, but CSU’s Dorian Green drew a big charge on TCU’s Ronnie Moss with 51 seconds left to give the Rams possession and ultimately preserve the win.
“He’s smart; he’s done well at the end of games,” Miles said about his freshman point guard. “When he’s locked in, he can do it.”
The Rams defense shut Moss down in the second half. Moss, who is TCU’s leading scorer (13.5 avg.) and also leads the team in assists, didn’t have a field goal in the second half. He had 19 points at the break and finished with 21 points for the game. The Rams also forced Moss to turn the ball over seven times.
“Trying to keep him out of the lane, he can make plays for himself and his teammates,” Smith said about holding Moss to only two points in the second half. “We haven’t seen him shoot like that all year. We knew that he was going to come back to earth at some point.”
Smith and Ogide were the only Rams to score in double figures, but four other CSU players (Travis Franklin, Travis Busch, Adam Nigon and Green) pitched in seven points apiece. Franklin pulled down nine boards for the Rams as well, and Smith added six.
Up next for CSU is San Diego State Saturday at Moby Arena. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. MT.
“We look at it as a must-win again, to get above .500 in conference,” Ogide said.