Nov. 7, 2009
By Nic Hallisey
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo.—The Colorado State Rams’ defense came out of the halftime locker room fired up, holding Western State without a field goal for the first 5 minutes, 28 seconds of the half, Saturday night at Moby Arena.
By the time the Mountaineers connected with their first shot of the half, the Rams had stretched their one-point halftime lead to 13, too big of a hill for the Mountaineers to climb, as the Rams rolled to a 64-50 exhibition win.
The victory, in front of 2,498 fans, was the final tuneup before regular-season play begins Friday in the Basketball Travelers Tip-Off tournament in Eugene, Ore.
“We came out of the half and did a much better job than we did against Regis,” Head Coach Tim Miles said. “That was key.”
Freshman Dorian Green, who led all scorers with 16 points, started the scoring with a three-pointer just 23 seconds into the second half. By the time the Mountaineers could score on Colorado State’s defense again, the Rams had put up 16 points in the half, and just 11:56 remained on the clock.
After the Rams built up their lead during the early second-half run, they never let it slip below 12, and extended it to as much as 24 with 4:45 to play.
“I told them we needed to come out hard in the first minutes and build a lead,” Miles said. “They did just that.”
All but 10 of the Rams’ points came from four players: Green (16), Harvey Perry (14), Andy Ogide (13) and Travis Franklin (11).
In addition to his points, Perry collected 11 rebounds for the double-double. Leading the Rams on defense was freshman Pierce Hornung
, however, rebounding 12 shots, including nine in the first half.
“He needs to shoot the ball more, be more selfish,” Miles said of Hornung, whose only shots came from the free-throw line. “He has a great nose for the ball, though.”
As a team, the Rams outrebound the Mountaineers 43-25, including 19-3 from the offensive end. Colorado State also forced 11 steals, coming from seven different players.
“In the second half we picked it up on defense,” Perry said. “We came out aggressive after Coach’s halftime speech.”
One area for improvement was the free-throw shooting. The Rams converted just 48.6 percent (18-of-37) of their shots from the line.
“I promise we practiced free throws,” Miles said. “My mom is going to kill me. Free throws are mental. It’s catchy; one guy misses and the next guy misses.”
The Rams’ first opponent in the tournament will be the UC Davis Aggies. Tipoff time on Friday is 6 p.m. MT.