Colorado State remains at Moby Arena for its penultimate home game, looking to snap a two-game skid and defend its home court winning against Mountain West newcomer Fresno State on Wednesday.
The 21-6 (8-4 MW) Rams, receiving votes in both national polls, have lost two straight since opening up a six-game conference win streak with a road victory over Fresno State (74-63) on Jan. 26. CSU is 14-1 at home in 2012-13, and is looking to get back on track after suffering its first home loss of the season, a 91-82 setback against Mountain West-leading New Mexico on Saturday.
Fresno State (9-17, 3-10 MW) has lost four of its last five games entering Wednesday’s tilt. Since losing at home to CSU on Jan. 26 (74-63), the Bulldogs have gone 2-5 in league play, with a home win over UNLV (64-55) and a road victory at Nevada (69-64), their most recent trip away from the Save Mart Center.
Tipoff between the Rams and the Bulldogs is set for 7 p.m. MT at Moby Arena.
Colorado State held on for the 74-63 victory in the first matchup between the programs at Fresno State’s Save Mart Center on Jan. 26. The game was the first of three straight MW road wins for the Rams, and started a six-game league win streak that was snapped in CSU’s loss at UNLV last week.
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 1,150-1,176 (.494) in 2,326 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 game against the Bahamas All-Stars, winning 95-80 behind a double-double (18 points, 14 rebounds) from Colton Iverson.
Colorado State enters Wednesday’s game with an 21-6 record (8-4 MW), the program’s second consecutive 20-win season and the eighth in program history. The Rams are now approaching the program record for victories in a season, 23, set in 1988-89.
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 reached 13-2 to close non-conference play, tying the program’s best 15-game mark, with the 1953-54 team, to close non-conference play. CSU’s 21-6 mark is second in program history behind the 1953-54 squad which posted a 22-5 mark through 27 games.
From Nov. 21, 2011, an 85-75 win over UTSA, to Feb. 23, 2012, a 66-60 win over No. RV/22 San Diego State, Colorado State men’s basketball won 27 consecutive home games at Moby Arena, a program record for consecutive home victories. The streak grew to be the third-longest active streak in the nation before the Rams’ loss to then-No. 16/16 New Mexico (91-82) on Feb. 23.
Colorado State ranks as the No. 2 rebounding team in the nation, pulling down 41.9 boards per game, and enters Wednesday’s game leading the NCAA in rebounding margin with an average differential of 12.9 rebounds per game. The team has outrebounded its opponents in 26 of 27 contests this season.
The Rams have been impressive at home in 2012-13, racking up a 14-1 mark at Moby Arena. With two home games remaining on the schedule, the Rams have an opportunity to set the Moby Arena record for most wins in a season (15 in 1987-88) and best single-season win percentage (14-1, .933 in 2011-12).
Colorado State is 5-5 on the road in 2012-13, the most road wins for the Rams since going 6-5 away from home, including a win at UNLV (78-63), in 2010-11. The Rams have two road games remaining on the 2012-13 schedule.
Overall, the Rams are 7-5 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 recorded a school-record 13 non-conference victories in 2012-13, besting the mark of 11 set in 1997-98 and matched in 2002-03, 2005-06 and 2011-12.
About Fresno State
Fresno State has lost eight of its last 10 games, including seven of its previous eight on the road.
The Bulldogs have done an excellent job of defending the three-point line, allowing opponents to connect on just 29.5 percent of their attempts. The mark is the second-best in conference games in the Mountain West.
Fresno State also ranks second in steals, swiping 6.6 per outing.
Junior guard Tyler Johnson leads the Bulldogs in scoring, averaging 14.0 points per game, the seventh-best mark in the MW.
Johnson is shooting 45.6 percent from the field during league play, the fifth-best percentage in the Mountain West.
Senior forward Kevin Foster ranks 12th in rebounding (5.8) and seventh in blocked shots (0.8) in conference.
Head Coach Rodney Terry is in his second season at Fresno State, he owns a 22-37 record during that time.
In the first meeting this year Colorado State pulled out a 74-63 victory in Fresno, Calif. All five of CSU’s starters finished in double figures, including a double-double performance of 11 points and 13 rebounds by senior C Colton Iverson.
Series vs. Fresno State
Saturday’s matchup between the Rams and Bulldogs marks the 22nd in the series between the programs, dating back to the first meeting - an 84-66 CSU victory - on Dec. 30, 1964 in Fort Collins.
The Bulldogs hold an 11-10 all-time series advantage.
Colorado State is 9-2 against Fresno State all-time in games played in Fort Collins.
The programs competed 11 times as Western Athletic Conference rivals from 1992-93 to 1998-99, with Fresno State holding an 8-3 advantage in those games. CSU is 1-0 in games played as MW foes.
The Rams defeated the Bulldogs, 87-74, in the most recent matchup at Moby Arena on Dec. 4, 2010. Dorian Green recorded 10 points in the victory, adding to Wes Eikmeier’s six points and four assists.
A win over Fresno State will...
Mark the Rams’ third-straight win over the Bulldogs, the first three-game win streak for CSU in the series since they won four straight between 1964-65 and 1972-73.
Tie the all-time series record at 11-11 and improve CSU’s mark at home to 10-2 against Fresno State.
Snap CSU’s current two-game losing streak.
Give the Rams’ their 22nd victory, matching the second-most wins in school history. The 1953-54 and 1987-88 teams also recorded 22 victories, each advancing to postseason play.
Pull the Rams within two victories of setting the school record for most wins in a season. The 1988-89 squad totaled 23 wins en route to a Western Athletic Conference championship and trip to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Put the 2012-13 squad in a tie for the fastest CSU team to reach 22 wins in a season. The 1953-54 team also won its 22nd on Feb. 27.
Move CSU’s overall record to 22-6, tying the 1953-54 team for the best mark through 28 games.
20 and counting
Colorado State captured its 20th victory of the season Feb. 13 vs. San Diego State, marking the second-consecutive season with 20 victories, and the eighth overall in program history.
Five of the previous seven 20-win seasons have ended in NCAA tournament berths, while the 1996-97 Rams finished 20-9 and made a trip to the NIT. The 1997-98 squad also finished 20-9 but did not play in the postseason.
CSU’s school record for victories in a season is 23 set during the 1988-89 season.
Noting Eustachy’s first year in MW
Having led Colorado State to the 20-victory plateau following the Rams’ Feb .13 victory over San Diego State, CSU head coach Larry Eustachy became the seventh head coach in MW history to accomplish that feat in his first year in the league.
Other MW head coaches to have 20-win seasons in their inaugural campaigns are: Ray Giacoletti (29-6 in 2004-05 at Utah), Dave Rice (26-9 in 2011-12 at UNLV), Jeff Bzdelik (24-7 in 2005-06 at Air Force), Steve Alford (24-9 in 2007-08 at New Mexico), Larry Shyatt (21-12 in 2011-12 at Wyoming) and Dave Rice (20-9 in 2005-06 at BYU).
Colorado State ranks among the nation’s most experienced teams, and is the top-rated team in the Mountain West in terms of average class year per minute played, according to StatSheet.com.
The Rams average of 3.47 ranks fourth nationally behind Valparaiso (3.78), Middle Tennessee St. (3.52) and Ohio (3.48).
Combined, the top four schools are 88-24 (.786) this season.
Hornung among nation’s top O-rebounders
Colorado State senior F Pierce Hornung ranks as the No. 2 offensive rebounder in the nation entering Wednesday’s game vs. Fresno State.
Hornung, a 6-5 product from Arvada, Colo. Pulls down an average of 4.4 offensive rebounds per game, well ahead of the MW’s No. 2 performer on the offensive glass, teammate Colton Iverson (3.22 per game).
Nationally, Hornung ranks just behind South Alabama’s Augustine Rubit (4.5), and ahead of Notre Dame’s Jack Cooley (4.35), North Carolina-Wilmington’s Keith Rendleman (4.28) and Tulane’s Josh Davis (4.18) who rounds out the top five.
Hornung’s 110 offensive rebounds in 25 games, have accounted for 127 second-chance points, or 34 percent of the Rams’ total second-chance points in those contests.
More on offensive boards
In addition to Hornung’s prowess of the offensive glass, senior frontcourt mates Colton Iverson (3.22) and Greg Smith (2.4) rank tied for 40th and tied 200th respectively, in offensive boards per game.
Colorado State is the only team in the country to have three players listed in the top 200, through games played Feb. 24.
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 19.2 rebounds per game entering Wednesday’s contest vs. Fresno State.
Iverson leads the Rams averaging 9.8 rebounds per game but Hornung is just behind him pulling down 9.4, making the duo the only teammates in the country averaging more than 9.0 rebounds per game apiece.
A winning era
Colorado State’s fourth-year seniors – Dorian Green, Pierce Hornung and Greg Smith – have been a part of 76 wins during their careers at CSU (entering Wednesday’s game vs. Fresno State).
That total is now fifth in program history for wins in a four-year period, eclipsing the win total put up by the program from 1994-95 to 1997-98 (75).
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.
The school record for wins in a single season is 23 set during the 1988-89 campaign.
Colorado State (21-5, 8-3 MW) travels to Boise Idaho for a key road contest at fifth-place Boise State (18-8, 6-6 MW).
Tipoff between the Rams and the Broncos is set for 6 p.m. MT at Boise State’s Taco Bell Arena. The game will be broadcast via online streaming video through Boise State’s Bronco Vision service at BroncoSports.com.
Colorado State rolled to a 77-57 victory in Fort Collins on Jan. 30, behind a 23-point, 13-rebound effort from senior forward Pierce Hornung.