Feb. 23, 2010
By Alan Rakowski
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Junior guard Adam Nigon paced CSU with a career-high 23 points, including six three-pointers, but it wasn’t enough to upset No. 10/12-ranked New Mexico, as the Rams fell, 72-66, on Tuesday night at Moby Arena.
The Rams, who led 32-29 at the break, played with a lot of fire for all 40 minutes. But the Lobos were strong in the second half, opening the period on a 9-0 run, and executing down the stretch, to preserve their 12th straight win.
“It’s just disappointing to lose,” said Head Coach Tim Miles. “There are no moral victories. We want to establish ourselves as a player in this league. New Mexico is the cream of the crop.”
In a game that saw 12 lead changes and nine ties, New Mexico converted at the line in the second half, going 13-for-15 from the charity stripe in the last 4-and-a-half minutes.
CSU (15-12, 6-7 MWC) led 49-47 with 9:16 to play in the game, but two unanswered three-pointers by junior Darington Hobson and senior Roman Martinez quickly put New Mexico back ahead with just under 8 minutes remaining in the contest. The score see-sawed back and forth, and the game was knotted up for the ninth time, 55-55, at the 5:58 mark. New Mexico (26-3, 12-2 MWC) then utilized a 5-0 run to take a 60-55 advantage, and grabbed the lead for good.
Nigon hit all three free throws after he was fouled on a three-point attempt to cut the lead to two with 3:10 left, but it would be the closest the Rams would get for the duration of the game.
“Adam was trying to will a win for us tonight, you could just see it in him,” added Miles. “The kid did about all he physically could to keep us around.”
Nigon poured in 23 points on the night (6-for-14 from the field, 6-for-13 from long range and 5-for-5 from the line) and also added three rebounds and two assists.
Dairese Gary (14), Hobson (11) and Martinez (12) were key for the Lobos in the second half, combining for 37 points. Hobson (15 points and 10 boards) and Martinez (17 points and 12 rebounds) each finished with a double-double. Gary’s 23 was a team-high.
Junior forward Andy Ogide and freshman point guard Dorian Green scored 12 and 10, respectively, and Green dished out six assists for CSU. Travis Franklin finished with seven points and six boards, and Greg Smith added seven points and five rebounds.
Had the Rams pulled the upset Tuesday, it would have been their first win against a ranked opponent since 2004 when they defeated then-No. 25 Air Force in the first round of the MWC tournament.
CSU looks to try to get back to .500 in conference play with a win at TCU on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. MT and the game will be shown live on the Mtn.
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