Nov. 25, 2013
By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Colorado State Rams (4-2) continued its dominance at home with a 95-68 victory over the Prairie View A&M Panthers on Monday night.
In the early stages of the season, the Rams have looked incredibly comfortable playing at home. CSU is 4-0 on the year when playing at Moby Arena and has scored over 90 points twice already in front of its home crowd. On the year, Colorado State is averaging 88.5 points per contest at home.
Monday night's game was no exception to the early success that the Rams have had at Moby Arena. The game featured just three ties and two lead changes before Colorado State, donning its gold alternate uniforms for the first time all year, took the lead for good at 8-6.
"I like that this team has a lot of consistency to it," Head Coach Larry Eustachy said. "They get along together, they hang out together, they eat together and they do everything together. I think we're getting there."
On the night, six CSU players reached double figures in scoring, and all eight players that played considerable minutes scored at least seven points. Senior forward Gerson Santo paced the Rams with the best performance of his career. Santo connected on seven of his 10 field goal attempts en route to a career-high 16 points and a season-high five rebounds.
"Coach has been working with Marcus (Holt) and me a lot, teaching us how to play really hard," Santo said. "I had a guy like Colton (Iverson) last year where I learned a lot from him; I am just trying to put everything I learned on the court."
Junior guard Jon Octeus also scored 16 points for the Rams, while freshman guard David Cohn had 15 points, junior guard Daniel Bejarano had 13 points, and junior forward Marcus Holt and sophomore guard Joe De Ciman each added 10 points.
Colorado State and Prairie View A&M both shot 47 percent from the field, but the difference in the game was the relentless attitude that the CSU players exhibited on the court.
The Rams doubled-up the Panthers in rebounds (46-23), and had 19 offensive rebounds in the game which led to 16 second-chance points. Colorado State also went to the free throw line a season-high 44 times on the night, while Prairie View A&M attempted just 20 free throws.
"Coach emphasizes that all the time; we practice it so much," Octeus said of the team's rebounding performance. "I think that's how we should play every night."
As well as the second-chance opportunities and aggressive mindset to get to the free throw line, Colorado State's unselfish play also propelled the Rams to victory. Led by junior forward J.J. Avila and Octeus, who both had a team-high six assists, the Rams assisted on 20 of their 27 made field goals.
Trailing 6-4 early in the game, Colorado State used a 26-6 run over a nine minute span to jump out to a commanding 30-12 lead and seize control of the game. The Rams maintained their dominance for the duration of the half as they took a 49-31 lead into the half.
Coming out for the second half, CSU picked up right where it had left off and scored 11 of the first 13 points in the half to open up a 22-point lead. Midway through the second half, the Rams used another 11-2 run, capped off by a fast-break dunk from Hurst, to take a 30-point lead, the largest of the night.
Colorado State's lead would get no closer than 22 points as the Rams played consistent down the stretch for the 95-68 victory.
The Rams will now turn their attention towards Bethune-Cookman which comes into town for the third game of the Colorado State Challenge. The Wildcats enter Wednesday night's contest against the Rams with a 2-4 record on the year. CSU and Bethune-Cookman will tip-off at 2 p.m. MT with the game being streamed on the Mountain West Network.