Men's basketball recap: Rams foil Falcons, 67-49
Feb. 4, 2012
By Zach Balside
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Pierce Hornung scored a career-high 23 points and also grabbed 17 rebounds to lead the CSU Rams to a 67-49 home win against Air Force on Saturday afternoon at Moby Arena.
The win gives CSU (15-7, 4-3 Mountain West) 10 straight victories at home and keeps the Rams undefeated against opponents in the state of Colorado. CSU already owned wins over Colorado, Denver and Northern Colorado.
Hornung played arguably the best game of his career Saturday afternoon. He not only tied a career high with his 17 rebounds, but nine of those boards were of the offensive variety. Many of those rebounds led to second-chance buckets, and helped CSU to a 30-14 edge in scoring in the paint.
"You just have to stay active," Hornung said of his assertive presence on the glass. "Coach (Tim) Miles calls it multiple efforts. You can't just make one move and give up. You have to make them box you out through multiple moves and efforts so that is what I try to do."
The 23 points beat Hornung's previous career high by eight. He tallied 15 points as a freshman against Yale on Dec. 31, 2009.
"I definitely felt like I was in a rhythm out there," Hornung said. "I felt like I was in the right place a lot of times. I just tried to work hard and good things happen."
The Rams shot uncharacteristically poorly from beyond the arc, only connecting on 4-of-22 three-pointers. But that only made Miles appreciate Hornung's performance even more.
"Pierce has always been pretty crafty against Air Force, against that zone," said the Rams' head coach. "Pierce is our knight in shining armor. Every time we'd take a bad shot he'd get it back for us and give us a chance to take another bad shot."
CSU led 27-20 at halftime, and opened up the second half on a 24-10 run that eliminated any chances for the Falcons to be able to soar to victory in Fort Collins.
"I thought we came out early and moved the ball around and we got some lay-ups and easy baskets," junior Dorian Green said. "We got fouled and went to the free-throw line. We did a better job of hitting our free throws. As far as the defensive end, we put together consecutive stops and stayed disciplined."
Overall, CSU outrebounded Air Force (11-10, 1-6) 42-24.
CSU is now 11-1 at home this season, and Miles hasn't overlooked the value of playing at home.
"I think our guys love playing here," Miles said. "First of all, our student fans, when they have been in session, have been unbelievable. They have really brought energy into Moby and our guys feed off that. I thought it was another good student crowd tonight.
"I think as we get better and better our crowds are going to get bigger and bigger. It's so enjoyable being in Moby Arena when it's filled with people and energy and voice. It's a pretty cool place and we have a great band."
CSU has a week to rest before it heads to Fort Worth, Texas, to play TCU Saturday. Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. MT and the game will be televised nationally on The Mtn.