Men's basketball recap: Rams beat in-state rival Northern Colorado, 75-61
Dec. 20, 2010
By Zach Balside
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Four players scored in double-digits as the CSU Rams used a strong first-half performance to beat the Northern Colorado Bears, 75-61, at Moby Arena, Monday night.
The bounce-back win came after consecutive losses for the Rams (5-3) and improved CSU's record against in-state rivals to 2-1 on the season. The Rams have not lost to UNC in Fort Collins since 1986, and have won 10 of the last 12 meetings between the schools.
CSU took a 37-26 lead into halftime, and the advantage grew to 19 points six minutes into the second half after a 9-0 Rams run. The Bears (4-6) responded with a 14-4 run to cut the lead back to single digits. UNC would remain within striking distance for most of the half until Travis Franklin closed the door on any possible comeback with a steal that led to two free throws and grew CSU's lead to 13 with less than four minutes left.
"UNC is a gutty team," Head Coach Tim Miles said. "They are highly competitive. You know they weren't going away. It took longer then I wanted to, but I thought our guys responded and met the challenge. I thought that was a good sign."
Wes Eikmeier led the Rams in scoring with 17, Andy Ogide added 13 and Dorian Green scored 11. Franklin would finish with 16 points and five steals (a career high), and went 12-of-15 from the charity stripe.
"Confidence; it's all confidence," Franklin said of his improved free-throw shooting this season. "I'm not thinking about it like I used to and I'm going up there with confidence and I'm making them this year."
Ogide's second layup of the game gave him 800 points in a Rams uniform. Adam Nigon, who cracked the starting lineup for the first time this season, also added his name to the record book, collecting three steals, moving himself into 10th in school history.
CSU tallied 12 steals, its best total this season. The Rams also drew 27 fouls, leading to 39 free-throw attempts.
The Bears were led by senior guard Devon Beitzel, who scored 29 points on 10-of-19 shooting.
The Rams will spend the beginning of their holidays in Cancun, Mexico, for the eight-team Cancun Governor's Cup tournament. CSU's first opponent is Appalachian State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. MT. With a win, the Rams would take on the winner of the Texas State-Mississippi matchup.