Men's basketball recap: Rams escape Air Force for 51-47 win
Feb. 9, 2010
By Danny Mattie
The Rams overcame a 29-21 hafltime deficit, closing the contest on a 12-4 run over the final 6:30.
“In our prep, we talked about winning the paint and not turning the ball over, and at halftime we’re getting beat in both categories,” said Head Coach Tim Miles. “I credit the kids. They really came back and won with defense. We got stops, we got stops, we got stops, and even though we weren’t doing a lot on offense, we did enough.”
Air Force built a halftime lead by outscoring the Rams 14-6 in the paint in the opening 20 minutes, and turning nine Rams’ turnovers into nine points. Colorado State responded, outscoring the Falcons 10-4 in the paint and allowing the Falcons only two more points off turnovers in the final 20 minutes.
Those improvements helped the Rams stay within striking distance for much of the second half, as the Air Force lead never reached more than two possessions over the final 18 minutes of action.
“We worked harder in the second half to loosen things up and attack the rim,” added Miles.
But it was a Green three-pointer with 6:30 left to play that cut the CSU deficit to 43-42 and sparked a 12-4 Rams’ run to end the game, completing the second-half comeback and the regular-season sweep of the Falcons.
The Rams, who missed both of their foul shots in the first half, hit 10-of-15 in the second half, led by a 5-for-6 performance from junior F Travis Franklin at the charity stripe. Green hit 4-of-5 attempts in the closing stanza, and Smith iced the game, hitting 1-of-2 with three seconds left on the clock to put the game out of reach.
Smith turned in another stellar performance for the Rams, tallying nine rebounds to go along with his 10 points. Ogide and Green each finished with four rebounds, while junior G Adam Nigon pulled down seven rebounds to go along with his five points.
The win marked the fourth consecutive regular-season victory over the Falcons for CSU, and gave the Rams a regular-season sweep over a second conference opponent (Wyoming) for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
The Rams will be idle on Saturday before hosting the No. 17 BYU Cougars at Moby Arena on Feb. 17.