Nov. 3, 2007
Box Score in PDF Format
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Colorado State men's basketball wrapped up the exhibition season, thumping Chardon State 107-76 Saturday evening in Moby Arena. The 2,231 fans were again treated to a dominant performance by Stuart Creason as he scored 20 points and pulled down six boards. Newcomer Andre McFarland got into the action with a game-high 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field.
"Two games like this in the early season with two different styles is good for us," said Head Coach Tim Miles. "We are learning how to make adjustments. We have been good in thirds, good in the front and good in the end. It's the middle that is hurting us."
The first half began with the Rams rattling off five straight points. The Eagles responded with a four-point run of their own to make the score 5-4. CSU extended the lead to nine on a layup by Jesse Woodard with the assist going to Ronnie Aguilar which made the score 15-6 with 15:52 to go in the first. The teams then traded baskets until the 11:55 mark of the first. CSU used a three pointer by McFarland, a steal by Creason and a layup by freshman Josh Simmons to grab a 12-point advantage. Chadron was able to cut the lead to four with 5:51 to go before the Rams pulled away for the 45-35 halftime score.
"We were fine early then we just quit guarding them," Miles continued. "You have to respect the game and do what you need to do. We had our point guards with our heads down instead of looking up making plays in the middle of the game. To adjust, we brought out a `hit man' and were much better running the offense that way."
McFarland led the Rams in the first half with 14 points while Creason and Josh Simmons joined him in double-figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. On the boards, Willis Gardner led CSU with four in the period. Gardner, Woodard and Marcus Walker each finished the half with three assists.
The Eagles were spot on from three-point range, hitting seven in the first period and shooting 46.7 percent. Offensively for Chadron State Marco de Souza, Tyler Coffman and Andrew Gabellieri each finished the first half with six points. The Rams forced 16 first half Eagle turnovers which translated to 18 points off turnovers.
The Rams got over the brief slump that began the second half by allowing defense to create offense. The 19-2 run came after the Eagles cut the lead to one point. During the stretch the Rams pulled down six rebounds, stole three passes and blocked a shot. Chadron was unable to recover from that point as juniors Gardner and Walker got hot. Gardner was good for three rebounds, three assists and two steals in the second half while Walker added ten points on 3-of-3 shooting from the field and 4-of-4 from the line along with three assists.
CSU finished out the game on a hot streak, missing just seven shots and turning five of those misses into points off the offensive boards in the final 8:49 of the game. The Rams held Chadron scoreless in the final two-minutes on their way to the 107-76 victory.
"When you look at the makeup of our players they have all played zone, it's what they have done," said Miles. "They communicate and talk better in the zone; we just aren't rebounding the way I would like right now."
As a team the Rams shot 72.7-percent from the field in the second half. CSU put five players in double-figures. Joining Creason, McFarland and Walker were Simmons with 21 and Flynn Clayman with 10. The leading rebounder for CSU was Gardner with seven boards. The Rams held the rebounding advantage 35-30 with 11 offensive rebounds.
For the Eagles, four players reached double-figures: Tim McLaurin (12), deSouza (11), Tyler Coffman (11) and Cotton (10). On the boards Dameon Gant had a team-high six while Cotton led the squad in assists with five. Chadron shot 42.4-percent in the game.
Colorado State will open the regular season as they travel to Missoula, Mont. to face the Grizzlies Friday at 7 p.m. The Rams will stay on the road and play a trio of games at the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska Nov. 15-18.
Freshman guard Josh Simmons:
On the game overall-
"It felt good, we knew (the fast-break) would around. We are a young team and get jittery, but coach and (Stuart Creason) do a good job of calming us down."
On the barrage of three-pointers by Chadron State-
"No one makes three's all game; you saw that in the second half. Everyone just had to stick together and help each other out and it will start to turn around. We were getting long rebounds and turning them into points on the other end."
Freshman forward Andre McFarland:
"It was fun out there. Coach pulled me to the side and told me to relax. I felt comfortable out there. I was just trying to make a play, that's
all I do."
On going the first regular season game-
"We are going into Montana and it is going to be a packed house, but as long as we go into practice and practice hard all week, we will be fine. "
Senior center Stuart Creason:
On the fast-break playing style-
"We did it almost the entire half and we are going to have to continue to do that if we are going to be successful. There was one point on three straight possessions when I never crossed into their side of the court."