Men's basketball recap: Senior trio leads Rams past Mountaineers in Cancun
Dec. 22, 2010
By Danny Mattie
CANCUN, Mexico – Adam Nigon connected on a three-pointer with 5 seconds left in the game, to lift the Colorado State (6-3) team to an 82-79 victory over Appalachian State (4-5) on Wednesday night at Poliforum Benito Juarez in the first round of the Cancun Governor’s Cup.
Nigon’s trey, his fifth of the game, was the final dagger in a contest that featured 15 ties and eight lead changes. It capped a 15-point scoring night for the senior guard. Classmates Andy Ogide and Travis Franklin each tallied 21 points in the contest, with Ogide posting a game-high 13 rebounds to round out a double-double performance.
Appalachian State was led by Donald Sims, the nation’s fifth leading scorer, who poured in 24 points despite being held scoreless for the first 12 minutes of the contest. Omar Carter also tallied 20 points for ASU. But in the final seconds on Wednesday night, the Mountaineers’ hopes hinged on the free-throw shooting of Jeremi Booth, who finished with 12 points.
Following Nigon’s big shot, and staking to that three-point lead in the waning moments, CSU elected to send the Mountaineers to the free-throw line. Booth was wrapped up by the Rams’ Pierce Hornung just outside ASU’s three-point line and went to the stripe looking to hit the first attempt and intentionally miss the second. But Booth’s first attempted caught the front of the rim, and the rebound off the second shot was tipped out past half court to seal the Rams’ win.
Wes Eikmeier chipped in 13 points of his own for the Rams, while Pierce Hornung tied Travis Franklin for team-high honors with three assists apiece.
In addition to his 24-point effort, ASU’s Sims also recorded eight assists in 37 minutes of action.
The Rams looked strong early in the contest, staking to an 8-2 lead just 3 minutes into the action. Appalachian State stormed back to tie the game at 10, and held a 38-35 lead at intermission, just the second halftime deficit of the season for CSU.
But the Rams returned from the locker room with a new-found shooting touch. Dorian Green and Nigon quickly combined for three consecutive three-pointers, and after a pair of Franklin free-throws at the 17:12 mark, the Rams held a 46-44 lead.
The teams exchanged blows over the ensuing five minutes, and Appalachian State tied the contest nine times in the second half with the Rams answering each time, punctuated by Nigon’s shot.
With the victory, the Rams move into a second-round matchup against SEC foe Ole Miss on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. MT on ESPNU. The Rebels (8-2) earned an 83-72 victory over Texas State in the first round.