FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The Colorado State men's basketball team got off to a slow start against Boise State and was unable to overcome it in a 79-76 loss to the visiting Broncos, Jan. 31. With the loss, the Rams fall to 14-9 and 6-4 in the Mountain West, while the Broncos improved to 14-7 and 7-3 in the league.
CSU struggled on both ends of the floor in the early going, trailing by as many as 14 just eight minutes into the first half at 21-7. The Broncos pushed the advantage to as many as 19 at 36-17 with 5:25 remaining in the opening period. From that point, CSU outscored BSU 23-7 to close the half and trail by three at the halftime break, 43-40. The Rams hit eight of their last nine shots to end the half and finished the first 20 minutes 8-of-12 (66.7 percent) from the 3-point arc.
The Rams had a hard time scoring in the second half, hitting just 13-of-34 (38.2 percent) from the floor in the final period. However, the hosts kept the deficit in single digits most of the final 20 minutes through good defense and rebounding. CSU cut it to four with 1:50 left in the game on a triple by redshirt-sophomore J.D. Paige and eventually got it to one at 73-72 on Paige's driving layup with 31 seconds to go. BSU hit two free throws with 26.7 seconds to take a three-point lead and a turnover on the ensuing possession all but sealed the game for the visitors, as they hit all their free throw attempts in the final segment.
CSU finished the game at 41.3 percent (26-of-63) on field goal attempts while Boise State was 47.2 percent (25-of-53). CSU was an impressive 12-of-24 (50.0 percent) from the 3-point line, while the Broncos were a solid 45.0 percent (9-of-20) from outside. Boise State got to the free throw line 26 times, hitting 20 of them, while the Rams were 12-of-15 (80.0 percent). The boards were close as CSU eeked out a 36-34 advantage.
Paige finished with a team-high 20 points and added five assists. Senior forward Emmanuel Omogbo finished with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. Senior guard Gian Clavell added 15 points and nine rebounds with sophomore guard Prentiss Nixon chipping in 13 points and four assists. Paris Austin led Boise State with 25 points on the night, while James Reid had 18 on six 3-pointers.
IN THEIR WORDS...
Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy
(on the game)
"I felt like we lost at the beginning. Give Boise State all the credit in the world. They came out focused -- the hardest moving, hardest passing team we have played all year."
(on the expectation of this year's team)
"I told the guys today, and I don't mean this in an arrogant way, but everywhere I have been there has been banners hanging. We have the horses if we play the right way, and we have the right jockey to show you how to do it, but you are going to have to listen and you're going to have to bring it. Obviously, this was a huge setback, but who knows what can happen."
Redshirt-sophomore guard J.D. Paige
(on first half play versus second half play)
"We got away from what we know, that's playing defense really hard, rotation, not getting out on the shooters; that killed us. We were down most of the game so it was hard fighting back. We just got away from what we are."
(on the impact loss of the game)
"It hurts. That is a good team out there; I have to give them credit. We just have to pay attention more, know our scouting reports and execute."
Sophomore guard Prentiss Nixon
(on relying on the jump shot)
"I don't think that had anything to do with it. We were 33% from the 3-point line, and 41% from the field, so that has nothing to do with it. It was the defensive end. We gave up 3's, we tried to trade buckets, and we tried the whole game. I do not think the jump shot had anything to do with it; it was all on the defensive end."
Boise State head coach Leon Rice
(on the game overall)
"We knew that when we play Colorado State, they are a team of runs, and they can go on big runs. We were up 17, but we knew we were not going to put it away in the first half. We knew it was going to be a second half game, and we did a nice job of regrouping at half. We inched away from them slowly and then when they started banging the threes, we held them to not taking the lead."
STAT OF THE GAME...
Other than the 8-of-9 surge at the end of the first half, CSU was just 18-of-54 (33.3 percent) on field goal attempts in the game.
• CSU still holds a slim 10-9 advantage in the overall series with BSU, though the Broncos swept both regular season meetings this year.
• Omogbo's double-double was his 12th of the season and 19th of his CSU career. He is currently third in single-season double-doubles in the CSU record book.
• Paige's 20-point outburst marked the most by the redshirt sophomore since the Alcorn State matchup on Nov. 27.
• Omogbo shot 3-of-4 from behind the arc, making him 7-of-8 (87.5 percent) in the last two games
• Boise State outscored Colorado State 42-8 in bench points
• Colorado State will return to the road, heading to the Silver State for the first time this year to take on UNLV, Feb. 4.
• Tip off between the Rams and Rebels at the Thomas & Mack Center, home again for the Mountain West Tournament, is set for 4 p.m. MT as the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Rich Waltz will handle the play-by-play and 11-year NBA veteran Danny Granger will be the color analyst.
• It will also air across the Colorado State Sports Network, including flagship KARS 102.9 FM, with Brian Roth on the play-by-play and Adam Nigon handling the analysis.
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