LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The Colorado State men's basketball team used a strong defensive effort and an improving offense throughout the game to earn its third straight road win, defeating host UNLV, 69-49, Feb. 4. The Rams improved to 15-9 overall and 7-4 in Mountain West action, while the Runnin' Rebels fell to 10-14 and 3-8 in league play.
CSU scored the first seven points of this road contest, getting four points from senior forward Emmanuel Omogbo and a 3-pointer from senior guard Gian Clavell. The Rams pushed it to as many as 10 at 21-10 with 9:20 to go in the opening stanza on a three from Omogbo. UNLV put together a 14-5 run over the next seven minutes to cut the margin to two, but CSU shutout the hosts over the final 2:23 to take a 31-24 lead into the halftime locker room.
The Rams came out and asserted themselves early in the second half, starting with a 14-3 run over the first 7:25, to take an 18-point lead at 45-27. CSU continued to assert themselves defensively, holding UNLV to just 28.1 percent (9-of-32) from the field in the second half and pulled away for the decisive 20-point victory.
CSU was solid on both end of the floor. Offensively, the Rams shot 45.8 percent (27-of-59), including 53.8 percent (14-of-26) in the second half and 10-of-28 from the 3-point line in both halves. Defensively, CSU limited to UNLV to just 30.5 percent (18-of-59) overall in the game. CSU only turned it over seven times while forcing 10 Runnin' Rebel miscues.
Omogbo led all scorers with game highs of 22 points and 13 rebounds along with two assists. Clavell contributed 18 points, 15 of them coming in the second half, while sophomore Prentiss Nixon contributed 11 points and four assists. Tyrell Green was the only UNLV player in double figures with 11 points.
IN THEIR WORDS...
Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy
(on the game)
I think timing has something to do with it. We came off a tough loss and know why we got beat last game. But I think this group is not your average group. They're competitive, though awfully young. We expected to win this game. The home court diminishes as the year goes on -- saw it against Boise and here today -- in my experience.
(About the way the team played today)
That's the way you play basketball in general. We were very patient and made them guard us a long time, and shot a good percentage because of it. And for a young team, with five young guys, to go on someone else's court and not let the game break you down is quite a feat.
STAT OF THE GAME...
The Rams' defense shut down UNLV's offense, limiting the Runnin' Rebels to 30.5 percent (18-of-59) on field goals and an even more paltry 16.7 percent (4-of-24) on 3-point attempts.
CSU is now 4-2 in Mountain West road games this season and swept the season series with UNLV.
Rams are now 12-1 this year (6-1 in MW play and 4-1 overall on road) when leading at halftime.
Head coach Larry Eustachy is now 9-7 all-time against UNLV and 2-5 at the Thomas and Mack Center, with his first win at UNLV as head coach of the Rams (last one was Jan. 19, 2011 -- 78-63.
The last time CSU won three straight MW road games was in Eustachy's first season, earning victories at Fresno State, Nevada and Air Force.
Omogbo's recorded his league-leading 13th double-double and 21st of his CSU career.
The 49 points given up was a season low for CSU and the fifth time in Eustachy's career (all MW games) that the Rams have held a team under 50 points.
Colorado State will come back home for a pair of games, starting with Utah State, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.
Tip off between the Rams and Aggies at Moby Arena is set for 7 p.m. MT as the game will be televised ROOT Sports. Drew Goodman will be on the play-by-play, Dave Bollwinkel is the analyst and Marc Stout is on the sidelines.
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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