Dec. 23, 2009
By Danny Mattie
Athletic Media Relations
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Colorado State men’s basketball team had its four-game win streak snapped Tuesday night, as the UCLA Bruins stormed back from an eight-point second-half deficit, and outscored the Rams 20-4 over the final 7 minutes of the game to defeat CSU, 75-63, in front of 6,755 fans at Pauley Pavilion.
“I thought we played well tonight,” said Head Coach Tim Miles. “We just got out-toughed the last 8-9 minutes of the game. I have to give UCLA credit, we did a lot of things right, but they shot the three well – which is something that they haven’t done this year.”
The Rams used a strong defensive effort and hustle early in the contest to force the Bruins into 19 turnovers. Following an 8-0 run between the 13:51 and 11:45 marks of the second half, the Rams held a 54-46 advantage on the road over one of the top programs in NCAA history.
However, senior F Nikola Dragovic tallied 14 of his game- and season-high 17 points in the final 11:27 to lead the Bruins (4-7) to just their second victory in the past eight contests. The loss moved the Rams to 8-4 with two games left on their non-conference slate.
Junior F Andy Ogide led the Rams with 14 points and six rebounds in the contest, adding two quick scores on back-to-back offensive rebounds to cap that Rams’ 8-0 run. Overall, the Rams were outrebounded 34-26 in the contest, but CSU recorded eight offensive rebounds, three each by Ogide and freshman F Pierce Hornung.
Hornung also added a team-leading four assists in the contest, but fouled out late in the second half with just two points to go along with his four total rebounds.
After coming out of halftime tied, 34-34, junior F Travis Franklin
played a key role in the Rams’ run, scoring five of his 13 points in the first 3:12 of the closing stanza. Junior F Adam Nigon also finished in double-figures for the Rams, tallying 10 points.
The Bruins didn’t regain their final lead until the 6:21 mark of the second half, after leading by just one point for only 25 seconds over the first 13 minutes of the second half.
Overall the Rams shot 41 percent for the field, while the Bruins connected on 51 percent of their shots, including a 60 percent (9-for-15) clip from beyond the arc. CSU connected on 5-of-13 attempts from long range, but was just 1-for-4 in the second half.
The Rams will now look ahead to a Dec. 28 matchup at Fresno State. Tipoff between the Rams and the Bulldogs is set for 8 p.m. MT.