Men's basketball recap: Rams upend Dons in double-overtime thriller
Nov. 29, 2009
By Nic Hallisey
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado State men’s basketball team opened the second overtime period with a 16-0 run, sealing a 91-75 victory over the San Francisco Dons Sunday afternoon at Moby Arena.
Freshman Dorian Green’s three-pointer just 10 seconds into the second overtime started the run. Travis Franklin followed with a layup and free throw. The Dons missed their first seven shots of the last period and turned the ball over twice before finally connecting with just 41 seconds remaining.
Franklin scored 10 of his career-high 24 points in the final 5-minute overtime.
The victory was the Rams’ first double-OT win since the 2003-04 season, and their first overtime win since 2006.
“I think it’s a testament to the kids; they battled and battled,” Head Coach Tim Miles said. “We hung on in regulation. With every missed shot the guys were getting tighter and more nervous, and you could tell. Then we started making our shots and the guys started to fly around and look like a squad.”
In the first extended period, Franklin converted both of his free-throw attempts with 21 seconds on the clock to tie the game at 73. Colorado State’s defense then kept the game knotted by keeping San Francisco without a shot in the final seconds to close the first overtime.
“I thought our defense was good tonight,” Miles said. “We just made some silly errors that we can correct. I think we’re getting better defensively. Having that stand at the end of OT, we guarded well, it was a real shot in the arm.”
Added Green: “That was a huge momentum swing heading into the second overtime. We buckled down defensively. If we can do that on a consistent basis we’ll be alright.”
Joining Franklin with a career night was Pierce Hornung, who had 17 rebounds before fouling out, and Adam Nigon, who tied his career high of 11 points for the fourth time.
“We needed Pierce; he plays a role,” Miles said. “He looks more determined than a lot of people out there when it comes to getting rebounds.”
Hornung’s 17 rebounds, including nine from the offensive end, were the most for a Colorado State player in more than two years.
Green, who scored 17 points, stayed on the court for all 50 minutes. It was the first time a Rams player has played an entire game since Willis Gardner saw 45 minutes of action at North Dakota State in 2007.
The game, which was tied 25-25 at the half, saw 12 ties and 16 lead changes, and before the last period, no team led by more than two possessions.
After a Green jumper and two Hornung free throws with 1:25 remaining in regulation, Colorado State held on to a 57-56 lead. But an Angelo Caloiaro three-pointer from the baseline with 28 seconds on the clock gave the Dons the lead.
On the ensuing possession, Green was fouled driving to the basket and connected on both free throws to send the game into overtime.
Just like last year’s matchup between the two teams in San Francisco, it was a back-and-forth contest that came down to the final minutes. Unlike last year, however, the Rams were able to use the final period to gain the victory.
A year ago to the day, San Francisco’s Kwame Vaughn hit a pair of free throws with 3.2 seconds remaining to lift the Dons to a victory over the visiting Rams.
On Sunday, free throws played a key part again, with the Rams making 82 percent, including 24-of-27 after halftime.
In the first half, the Rams held the Dons to just a single field goal through the first 9:36, but six fouls, including two by Ogide, kept the game close. Ogide was limited to 23 minutes before fouling out with 2:29 remaining in regulation. Joining the junior with five fouls was Hornung and four San Francisco players.
The win gives the Rams a 2-0 start at home for the second consecutive season. Colorado State will next look for its first road win of the year, Tuesday at Northern Colorado at 7 p.m.