FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Colorado State men's basketball team came up short against the Long Beach State 49ers (4-4), 83-77, Thursday night in Moby Arena. Tonight's game marked the Rams' second consecutive loss, and dropped them to 5-2 on the season. It also ended the Rams' 10-game regular season home win streak, and moves the Rams to 2-1 all-time against Long Beach State.
CSU jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead but the visitors came back and eventually took the lead at 23-20 with nine minutes to play in the first half. The Rams stayed close, cutting it to one at 32-31 with just over two minutes to play, but LBSU closed the half on a 10-3 run, including a three canned by senior guard Nick Faust in the final few seconds, to give the 49ers a 42-34 halftime advantage.
Long Beach State got the lead to as high as 11 in the early moments of the second half, but CSU would claw its way back into the game. The Rams eventually took a brief 50-49 lead with just under 14 minutes to play on freshman Prentiss Nixon's three-pointer, but that was the last lead the home team had in the contest. CSU got it down to one with just under four minutes to play but could not overtake the 49ers for the win.
Junior guard John Gillon led the way for the Rams with a career-high 28 points, Senior guard Gian Clavell and junior forward Emmanuel Omogbo also had big nights, each recording double-doubles, including a career-high 15 rebounds for Clavell. Freshman guard Prentiss Nixon had the best game of his young career, posting a career-high 11 points.
Despite outrebounding the 49ers on the stat sheet, 44-36, the Rams couldn't come down with the key boards late, including giving up 10 offensive rebounds to the 49ers in the game. CSU was also plagued by poor free-throw shooting, hitting a season-low 59 percent of their shots from the charity stripe. Colorado State has now shot sub-70 percent from the line in both losses this season, and above 75 percent in all of their wins.
LBSU had four players score in double figures, including a career-high 27 points from senior guard Nick Faust. Faust shot 5-of-8 from behind the arc, and also recorded a game-high five steals.
IN THEIR WORDS...
"We have room for improvement. I know we have really good guys who will buy into playing harder, more physical and more importantly with more thought. We play in spurts and when we do we're good. That effort would've beaten a whole lot of teams tonight, but just not that team."
-Colorado State Coach Larry Eustachy
"We knew they were a good team, we emphasized on defense but we didn't show that out on the court. We need to move on... we need to move on fast from this loss."
--Colorado State guard Gian Clavell
""I'll say no we are not tough enough. We are not as a team. We just aren't physical yet, inside our guards are taught to go rebound. Gian played his heart out on the boards but I feel like I didn't help enough when it came to that."
-Colorado State guard John Gillon
I thought it was a hard fought game that was a game full of runs. We have had a tough stretch lately with giving up leads with seven minutes to go in the last four games. So it was really big for us to be able to hang on tonight, maybe give us some confidence going forward. This was a big win for us.
-Long Beach State Coach Dan Monson
STAT OF THE GAME...
23-39 (59%) shooting from the free-throw line for the Rams
Career-high 28 points for John Gillon
Emmanuel Omogbo's second consecutive double-double performance
Gian Clavell's third double-double on the season
Season-low tying 13 assists
49ers eight point lead at the half marked the largest halftime deficit the Rams have faced this season
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