Colorado State men’s basketball remains at Moby Arena for its final non-conference test of the regular season, hosting Atlantic 10 Conference foe St. Bonaventure on Saturday afternoon.
The 12-2 Rams are riding a six-game winning streak, including a run to the championship of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, and a 62-58 victory in the team’s most recent outing vs. UTEP on Wednesday at Moby Arena.
St. Bonaventure is off to a 7-5 start to the 2012-13 season, but has lost two straight entering Saturday’s matchup. The Bonnies fell 92-73 at North Carolina State on Dec. 22, and dropped a home decision to Iona (93-74) on Dec. 31.
Tipoff between the Rams and the Bonnies is set for Saturday at 2:30 p.m. MT at Moby Arena. The contest will mark the third in the series between CSU and SBU, and the first in Fort Collins.
Voice of the Rams Brian Roth will have the call on the Colorado State Sports Network - 560 AM KLZ (Denver), 600 AM KCOL (Fort Collins), 105.5 FM KJAC (Fort Collins), 1010 AM KSIR (Fort Morgan) and 1100 AM KNZZ (Grand Junction).
Streaming audio (free) and video (subscription) are available via Rams All-Access and live statistics can be viewed online via Gametracker at CSURams.com.
Rams quick hits
The 2012-13 season marks the 110th in the history of the Colorado State men’s basketball program. The Rams are 1,141-1,172 (.493) in 2,313 games all-time.
Colorado State enters the 2012-13 men’s basketball season under the direction of new head coach Larry Eustachy, in his 22nd season as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level.
The Colorado State basketball program is looking for its fourth-consecutive postseason appearance, and its second straight NCAA Tournament berth, in 2012-13.
The Rams return an experienced roster with seven letterwinners back form the 2011-12 season.
The Rams welcome a host of talented newcomers to the court this season, including Division I transfers Colton Iverson (Minnesota) and Daniel Bejarano (Arizona) who sat out 2011-12 per NCAA transfer rules.
In early August, the CSU basketball program spent five days together at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. Per NCAA rules, the team was allotted 10 days of practice leading up to the trip, and then played an exhibition contest against the Bahamas All-Stars, winning 95-80 behind a double-double effort (18 points, 14 rebounds) from Colton Iverson.
Colorado State enters Saturday’s game with a 12-2 record. The Rams opened the season 6-0, tying the program mark for best start established in 1970-71 and matched by the 2005-06 squad, and teams current mark is the best 14-game record since going 12-2 to open the 1997-98.
Colorado State ranks as one of the top rebounding teams in the nation, and entered play this week leading the NCAA in rebounding margin with an average differential of 14.2 boards per game. The team has yet to be outrebounded in a game this year.
Colorado State has opened the 2012-13 campaign with a 2-2 record on the road, picking up tough road wins at Denver and at Washington, before falling in their last two road outings at Colorado and UIC. The Rams were 3-9 on the road last year.
Overall, the Rams are 4-2 away from Moby Arena, having captured a pair of neutral-court victories over Portland and Virginia Tech en route to the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic title, Dec. 22-23 at the Orleans Arena.
Colorado State’s two road losses have come to programs (Colorado and UIC) with a combined 19-6 (.760) record.
The Rams have been even more impressive at home, racking up an 8-0 mark and extending a record win streak at Moby Arena to 21 games. The streak ranks fourth nationally entering the Rams’ tilt Saturday vs. St. Bonaventure.
Noting the Rams' streak
Colorado State enters Saturday’s contest against St. Bonaventure riding its second six-game win streak of the season.
It marks the first time in program history that the Rams recorded two win streaks of at least six games in the same year. The Rams won six straight games to open the season before dropping two road games (at Colorado and at UIC) in early December.
Over Colorado State’s last six games (all wins), each of the Rams’ senior starters is averaging double-figures scoring, led by Colton Inverson (13.3 ppg). Pierce Hornung and Greg Smith are tied for second (12.8 ppg), while backcourt mates Wes Eikmeier (11.3) and Dorian Green (11.2) are also in double-figures during that stretch.
The St. Bonaventure Bonnies own a 7-5 overall record to open the 2012-13 season, but have lost two straight games, at North Carolina State (92-73) and vs. Iona (93-74), and have not been on the court since Dec. 31 vs. the Gaels.
The Bonnies are just 1-4 away from home this season, downing Cornell 72-68 in their first road test of the year, before dropping four straight road games to Canisius (72-69), Ohio (69-64), Arkansas State (73-70) and North Carolina State (92-73).
Senior forward Demetrius Conger leads the team in scoring with 14.5 points per game. Senior guards Chris Johnson (13.3) and Eric Mosley (10.4) also average double-digits scoring for the Bonnies.
Conger also leads the team in rebounding, grabbing 7.6 boards per outing.
Head Coach Mark Schmidt is in his sixth season with the school. During that time he has compiled an 81-85 record. Schmidt was named the 2012 Sporting News Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year after leading the Bonnies to the A10 tournament title and the Bonnies NCAA second-round.
St. Bonaventure is at the end of a three-game stretch against teams that advanced to the NCAA tournament last season (NC State, Iona and CSU).
St. Bonaventure has had six contests decided by five points or fewer this season, including four of the team’s five road games - three losses (Canisius, Ohio, Arkansas State) and one victory (Cornell).
Series vs. St. Bonaventure
Saturday’s contest between Colorado State and St. Bonaventure marks the third in the series between the programs.
The overall series is tied, 1-1.
Colorado State won the initial meeting, which was held in St. Bonaventure, N.Y., 86-81 during the 1964-65 season.
The Bonnies claimed their first victory over the Rams during the 1999-00 season, winning 64-54 on a neutral court at the Sparklett’s Invitational held in Malibu, Calif.
Rams vs. the Atlantic 10
Colorado State is 3-4 (.429) all-time against the 16 programs that currently comprise the Atlantic 10 conference.
In addition to the Rams’ previous two matchups (1-1) against St. Bonaventure, Colorado State has faced five other A10 schools once each, winning matchups with UMass and Xavier but dropping games against Duquesne, Fordham and Saint Louis.
The Rams have never faced conference members Butler, Charlotte, Dayton, George Washington, La Salle, Rhode Island, Richmond, St. Joseph’s, Temple or VCU in regular-season or postseason competition.
A win over St. Bonaventure will...
Push the Rams’ home-court win streak to 22 games, extending the team’s Moby Arena record and tying the program’s all-time home win streak of 22 set from 1960-62 at South College Gym.
Run the Rams’ overall win streak to seven straight games. CSU’s six-game win streak ranks tied for 19th nationally entering Saturday’s game.
Give the Rams a 2-1 edge in the series with St. Bonaventure, and a 1-0 mark against the Bonnies in Fort Collins.
Mark the Rams’ 13th non-conference victory of the season. Entering play on Saturday, the Rams’ 12 non-conference victories marked a program record, besting the mark of 11 set in 1997-98 and matched in 2002-03, 2005-06 and 2011-12.
Improve CSU’s overall record to 13-2, matching the school record for best start through 15 games with the 1953-54 squad that made the program’s first trip to the NCAA tournament under head coach Bill Strannigan.
Make CSU 2-0 to begin the calendar year for the second year in-a-row and third in the last four seasons.
Non-conference wins record
Colorado State enters Saturday’s non-conference finale with a 12-2 mark.
The 12 non-conference victories are a school record for the Rams. The team had previously captured 11 non-conference victories to start the 1997-98, 2002-03, 2005-06 and 2011-12 seasons.
The Rams have won 85.7 percent of their non-conference games to open this season. That mark is currently tied for fourth with the 1940-41 squad (6-1; .857).
A win Saturday would bump the Rams’ non-conference win percentage to .867, which would seat behind the 1997-98 (11-1; .917), 1953-54 (8-1; .889) and 1971-72 (7-1; .875) squads.
Hornung Closing in on top-10 rebounding mark
Colorado State senior F Pierce Hornung is quickly closing in on the program’s top-10 in rebounding.
Hornung enter’s Saturday’s contest vs. St. Bonaventure 12th of the Rams’ all-time list with 625 career rebounds - just two away from No. 11 Andy Ogide (627 from 2009-11) and 13 short of No. 10 Larry Hoffner (1958-60).
Upon passing Hoffner, who was listed at 6-4 during his time at CSU, Hornung would become the only player on the Rams’ top-10 rebounding chart that is shorter than 6-6.
Rams boast NCAA’s top rebounding tandem
Colorado State’s senior frontcourt of Pierce Hornung and Colton Iverson ranks as the No. 1 rebounding tandem in the country, combining to average 18.6 rebounds per game entering Saturday’s contest vs. St. Bonaventure.
Hornung leads the Rams, pulling down 9.9 rebounds per contest, while Iverson pulls down 8.7 boards per game.
Below is a list of the top-5 rebounding tandems in the country: 1. Colorado State - 18.6 - Pierce Hornung (9.9)/Colton Iverson (8.7) 2. South Alabama - 18.5 - Augustine Rubit (11.0)/Mychal Ammons (7.5) 3. Southeast Missouri State - 18.4 - Nino Johnson (10.0)/Tyler Stone (8.4) 4. Notre Dame - 18.2 - Jack Cooley (11.3)/Scott Martin (6.9) Texas-Arlington - 18.2 - Jordan Reves (9.7)/Brandon Edwards (8.5)
A winning era
CSU’s fourth-year seniors – Dorian Green, Pierce Hornung and Greg Smith – have been a part of 67 wins during their careers at Colorado State (entering Saturday’s game vs. St. Bonaventure).
That total, 14 games into their senior season, is now tied for 12th in program history for wins in a four-year period, just two victories away from the top 10 (69 wins) recorded from 1960-61 to 1963-64.
The school record for wins in a four-year period is 81 victories from 1987-88 to 1990-91. The team would need 26 wins in 2012-13 to tie that record, and entered this year 20 wins away from the top-5 on that list of most successful four-year periods in program history.
Streaking at home
Colorado State’s current 21-game home-court win streak ranks fourth nationally entering the Rams’ Jan. 5 home contest against St. Bonaventure.
The Rams’ Nov. 15 victory over Chadron State (93-50), the team’s 15th straight at home, established a new Moby Arena record for the program, which the Rams have since extended to 21 games.
The Ram’s current home streak is the second-longest all-time in school history behind a 22-game run between 1960-62 when Colorado State played still called South College Gym home.
Colorado State opens Mountain West play, traveling San Diego, Calif., to square off against preseason favorite No. 19/17 San Diego State at Viejas Arena.
Tipoff between the Rams and the Aztecs is set for 6 p.m. MT/5 p.m. PT on Jan. 12.
The Rams and Aztecs split two regular-season meetings in 2011-12, each winning on their home court. SDSU also claimed a neutral-court victory over the Rams in the Semifinals of the 2012 MW tournament in Las Vegas, Nev.