Nov. 16, 2013
By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Behind the strong play of juniors Daniel Bejarano and J.J. Avila, the Colorado State Rams (2-1) cruised to an impressive 88-67 victory over Weber State (1-2) at Moby Arena on Saturday afternoon.
"The way we beat them was terrific," Head Coach Larry Eustachy said. "We just beat a team that is going to end up in the NCAA tournament, and I couldn't be happier."
Avila and Bejarano both showed off their versatility in the win over the Wildcats. Avila led the way for the Rams with 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Bejarano racked up 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Avila's 30 points are one point shy of his career high while his six assists tied a career high. For Bejarano, his 18 points and six assists both set career highs.
"I tried to be more aggressive and to do everything I could to help the team win," Avila said. "I'm really happy with how our team bounced back."
The Rams were clicking on all cylinders on offense as the team shot 53.6 percent from the field. The team also showcased incredible selflessness as Colorado State amassed 19 assists on its 30 made field goals.
Led by Bejarano and Avila, the Rams had four players reach double digures. Senior forward Gerson Santo scored 10 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting, and sophomore guard Joe De Ciman added a career-high 11 points.
CSU out-scored Weber State 44-26 in the paint, 14-2 off of turnovers and poured in 88 points on the day, but after the game the team was most pleased with its defensive effort.
"We really listened to coach and just played defense," Avila said. "Our offense was there tonight, but I'm more impressed with our defense."
The Rams' defense limited Weber State to just 43.5 percent shooting in the game, and in the first half the Wildcats were held to 35 percent shooting. The Rams also applied constant pressure to the Weber State ball-handlers and forced the Wildcats into 13 turnovers, which helped key a big first half for CSU..
Weber State scored the first two points of the game, but the Rams quickly regained the lead on the very next possession with a three-pointer from Avila. Avila rattled off seven unanswered points for Colorado State as the Rams never relinquished their lead.
With sophomore guard Jon Octeus battling foul trouble in the first half, freshman guard David Cohn stepped in to fill the void. Cohn finished the game with eight points and four assists, and did his job as a point guard with zero turnovers.
"He doesn't play like a freshman out there," Eustachy said of Cohn.
Behind the composed play of Cohn in the first half, the Rams headed into the locker room with a 41-27 lead.
After the brief intermission, Colorado State picked up right where it left off and never let the lead get below 11 points. The Rams used a mini 9-2 run midway through the half to push the lead up to 19 points and take Weber State completely out of the game.
After its 21-point home victory, which extends CSU's home winning streak over non-conference opponents to 17 games, the Rams now will turn their attention to a road contest against the University of Texas - El Paso. The game is slated to tipoff at 7 p.m. MT.
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