Complete Release in PDF Format
Rested after a bye during the week, the CSU men's basketball team looks to continue its winning ways with a victory over New Mexico on Saturday at 7 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast live on The Mtn., and is tabbed as the seoncd annual "Orange Out" at Moby. Fans are encouraged to wear orange, remembering CSU's heritage as the Aggies. The team will wear orange jerseys with the word, "Aggies" in green across the chest. The school's original colors were pumpkin orange and alfalfa green.
Both teams are coming off wins against Wyoming. CSU beat the Cowboys in Laramie, 59-56, last Saturday, while New Mexico beat Wyoming, 68-57, Wednesday night at the Pit.
Saturday is also CSU's annual Ram Legends celebration, when the program welcomes back former players from all eras. A special halftime ceremony will recongnize the players who return to CSU.
About New Mexico
After beating CSU on Jan. 12 to pick up its first conference win of the season, New Mexico went reeling, dropping its next three games to start out the conference slate 1-4. Since then, however, the Lobos have knocked off four straight to improve to 5-4, and could move into a potential third-place tie with a win over CSU on Saturday. During their winning streak, UNM's margin of victory has been by an average of 14.75 points. Overall, New Mexico is 17-7 on the year, and 5-6 away from home.
The Lobos have four players averaging double figures: senior Dairese Gary (12.8 points), junior Drew Gordon (12.3), freshman Kendall Williams (11.5) and junior Phillip McDonald (11.2). Gordon is also the team's leading rebounder (9.7 per game), and is one of six players on the team who shoots better than .500 from the floor. Williams leads the Lobos with 33 three-pointers (47.1 percent), and has a team-most 39 steals. Gary ranks second in the MWC with 5.5 assists per game, and third with a .780 free-throw percentage.
The Lobos, led by fourth-year head coach Steve Alford, are in the top half of the MWC in many statistical categories, including scoring offense (74.9 points a game; 2nd), free-throw percentage (70.2 percent; 2nd), rebounding margin (+5.2; 2nd) and assists (15.8 per game; 1st). Alford is 93-33 in Albuquerque.
Series vs. the Lobos
The Lobos have commanded the series, winning 67 of the 108 all-time games between the two schools, including eight consecutive since midway through the 2006-07 season. Head Coach Tim Miles is looking for his first win over the Lobos after nearly carving out wins in the last few meetings. At the Pit in January, CSU trailed by one with under a minute to play before free throws down the stretch sealed the win for New Mexico. In Fort Collins, CSU has the upper hand in the series, 29-22, despite losing the six most recent games since a win in 2004. Last year in Fort Collins, CSU led then-No. 10/12 New Mexico at halftime and into the second half before falling 72-66. The year prior, it took two overtime periods before New Mexico escaped with an 81-79 win at Moby Arena. Overall, four of the last five meetings at Moby Arena have been decided by two possessions or fewer.
Senior Adam Nigon led the Rams with 23 points last February when CSU hosted New Mexico, hitting 6 three-pointers, while recording two assists, one block and a steal. Fellow senior Andre McFarland, who is coming off his most productive game of the conference season, has four games of eight or more points against New Mexico. Sophomore Dorian Green has scored in double figures in each of his three games in the series, led by 20 last month, also picking up five rebounds and three assists. Greg Smith averaged 10 points and six rebounds in two games last season vs. New Mexico. Senior Travis Franklin, who has averaged 10.3 points per game over his career, has been held to single digits in all five games vs. the Lobos.
A win over the the Lobos...
Would mark CSU's 17th victory of the season, surpassing the program's win total from 2009-10 with at least seven games remaining on the Rams' schedule. This year's team would become the 20th in program history with at least 17 wins in a season.
Would guarantee CSU a winning record for the season. With six regular season games still remaining after Saturday, plus at least one conference-tournament game and the hopes of the postseason, CSU can claim its first winning record since 2006-07.
CSU will hit the road to take on TCU in a Wednesday night matchup in Fort Worth (6 p.m. MT, The Mtn.). The Rams are looking for just their second ever in at the Daniel Meyers Coliseum. Last year, CSU fell at TCU, 67-73. It was the Rams' lone loss to a team below them in the conference standings. Overall, however, CSU won the most recent meeting, 79-69, in January, and has won three of the last four in the series.