Feb. 3, 2010
By Danny Mattie
Athletic Media Relations
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Andy Ogide tallied game highs with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Travis Busch and Dorian Green poured in 13 points each, leading Colorado State to a 65-50 road victory over the Utah Utes in front of 8,110 at the Huntsman Center on Wednesday.
With the win, Colorado State improved to 13-9 overall, and 4-4 in the Mountain West, separating themselves from the Utes (10-12, 3-5 MWC) and moving into sole possession of fifth place midway through the schedule.
The win matches CSU’s entire conference win total from 2009, and marks the Rams’ first victory at Utah since 2006.
Ogide tallied 12 of his 14 points after halftime, helping the Rams turn a 30-29 halftime lead into a 15-point victory, the Rams’ largest win at Utah since 1992.
“We really controlled the tempo of the game from start to finish,” said Head Coach Tim Miles. “The team played extremely well defensively, and took an early lead.
Utah struggled shooting to open the contest, missing their first five shots, and allowing the Rams to storm out to a 10-2 lead just more than 6 minutes into the game. Colorado State forced the Utes into 10 first-half turnovers and converted those chances into 11 points, but a Utes’ run late in the half cut an 11-point Rams lead into just one, 30-29, heading into intermission.
“I thought that our guys played very well early in both halves,” added Miles. “That allowed us to play from ahead, which is extremely important when you are playing on the road.”
The Rams quickly regained control of the contest to open the second half. After a layup by Utah’s David Foster handed the Utes a short-lived 31-30 lead, Green was fouled shooting a three-pointer in front of the Rams’ bench and connected on all three free-throws to erase Utah’s final lead of the night.
Busch hit a pair of free-throws on the Rams’ next possession to push the advantage to two possessions, 35-31, and after a see-saw battle over the next 8 minutes, the CSU extended the lead to eight points, 51-43, on a pair of shots from the charity stripe by Ogide.
The Utes never got closer than five for the remainder of the game, and the Rams connected on 10-of-10 from the free-throw line, all from Green and Ogide, over the final 9:15 to secure the victory.
Overall, the Rams hit a season-best 89.5 percent (17-for-19) from the free-throw line in the contest. CSU outrebounded the Utes, 33-26, and forced 16 turnovers, converting those into 17 points. The Rams posted 13 second chance points, outrebounding the Utes 11-3 on the offensive glass, while recording a season-low eight turnovers.
Busch led the Rams defensive efforts, tallying a career-high four steals and one block. Ogide added two steals.
Junior Adam Nigon tallied nine points, all in the first half, for the Rams and added three rebounds, while freshman Greg Smith turned in another solid performance off the bench with seven points and five rebounds. Green added four rebounds and a team-leading three assists to his stat line.
Colorado State will now turn its attention to Saturday’s showdown with “Border War” rival Wyoming at Moby Arena. The game, which tips at 7 p.m. MT, highlights Ram Legends weekend, in which the team welcomes back players from all eras to be honored at halftime of the contest. Colorado State will also unveil special tribute jerseys featuring the team’s original colors of pumpkin and alfalfa, and emblazoned with “Aggies,” the university’s original mascot, across the chest. Fans are encouraged to wear orange to Moby Arena for the rivalry matchup.