Men's basketball recap: Rams fall, 75-71, in close battle at TCU

Feb. 11, 2012

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By Danny Mattie
Athletic Media Relations

FORT WORTH, Texas – Junior guard Wes Eikmeier scored a career-high 26 points, but it was not enough for the CSU men’s basketball team to avoid what Head Coach Tim Miles described as a “disappointing” loss Saturday night at TCU. 

The Rams (15-8, 4-4 MW) led by as many as 10 points in the contest, but TCU (14-10, 4-4) opened the second half on an 11-1 run to regain the advantage.  The teams exchanged four leads and battled through five ties over the final 14 minutes before late turnovers and poor offensive execution doomed the Rams. 

“Overall, I was disappointed,” said Miles.  “I was disappointed early, even when we were in the game, because we couldn't get everyone going.  In the middle, I was disappointed in the defense because we didn't defend very well. And in the end, I was disappointed in our offensive execution.

“So it was the overall theme for the night and a recipe of how to lose on the road.”

The Rams fell behind early thanks to the Frogs’ three-point shooting, before Eikmeier found his range from beyond the arc to spark a 15-2 CSU run that included a trio of three-pointers from the junior guard.  The run pushed the Rams’ lead to 10 points, 33-23, with 3 minutes left in the first half. 

But the Frogs clawed back to within five heading to the break, and held CSU without a field goal for nearly three minutes to open the second half. 

TCU led by as many as six points in the second half, but CSU clung to a 69-67 advantage after a Dorian Green runner in the lane broke the game’s seventh tie.  However, three CSU turnovers in the final three minutes of the game doomed the Rams’ chances, and the Horned Frogs scored nine of the game’s final 11 points to run their home court win streak to six games, and extend the Rams’ conference road skid to seven contests. 

Junior forward Pierce Hornung (14 points) and senior forward Will Bell (11) joined Eikmeier in double-figures scoring for the Rams.  Hornung also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds and dished out four assists. 

TCU’s Craig Williams, who had connected on just 4-of-22 three-pointers entering the contest, was 4-of-5 from long range to finish with a team-leading 20 points and five rebounds.  Teammates Hank Thorns (15), J.R. Cadot (14) and Garlon Green (10) also scored in double figures. 

The loss dropped the Rams to 4-4 in league play, with all four conference losses coming on the road.  CSU is now even with TCU and Wyoming in a tie for fourth in the MW standings, and the Rams, Horned Frogs and Cowboys are all two games behind No. 13/14 SDSU, No. 14/16 UNLV and New Mexico, which are in a three-way tie atop the league standings with six games to play. 

Colorado State now turns its attention to Boise State, when the Rams visit Taco Bell Arena next Wednesday.  Tipoff between CSU and Boise State is slated for 8 p.m. MT and the game will be televised nationally on The Mtn.