Men's basketball recap: Rams' bigs too much for Nevada
March 9, 2013
By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Colorado State Rams (24-7, 11-5 MW) capped off a historic regular season, defeating the Nevada Wolf Pack (12-18, 3-13 MW) 77-66 on Senior Night in front of a sold out crowd at Moby Arena.
“I thought it was a great win,” Head Coach Larry Eustachy said. “We’re playing our best basketball; that’s what you want to do. I think we did a good job despite some adversity.”
The 24 wins this season break Colorado State’s single-season school record for most wins in a season, surpassing the 1988-89 Rams’ 23 wins. The senior class, Dorian Green, Wes Eikmeier, Greg Smith, Pierce Hornung and Colton Iverson, have 79 wins in their four-year careers which is tied for second most in a four-year period for the Rams.
“It is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Hornung. “In the history of CSU basketball, there has been a lot of good teams and to have the most wins in a season is an honor. It is something we take pride in.”
With the win and the UNLV loss coming earlier in the day, Colorado State locked up the No. 2 seed in the Mountain West, the highest finish in the Mountain West in school history.
“When they tell you that they love you after Senior Night when you’ve only coached them after five months on the court is what it’s all about for me,” Eustachy said. “It’s hard to change. I asked them to change, and they did.”
Playing without an injured Green for much of the game, Iverson led the way for the Rams, scoring 21 points and pulling down nine rebounds. After making his first seven shots of the game, Iverson extended his school record of 19 consecutive shots without a miss. Fellow senior Eikmeier chipped in with 20 points and went 8-8 from the free throw line to help seal the win for Colorado State.
“He runs this team,” Iverson said of Green. “He does a great job telling people where to go and we move the ball so much better when he’s in the game. We struggled a little bit but that’s justbecause we haven’t been working out without him. It is all about who works well together and it was a little bit different without him.”
While Iverson and Eikmeier led the way scoring for the Rams, Hornung played in his typical fashion in his final game at Moby Arena, finishing with 16 points and 13 rebounds, including seven offensive rebounds.
The Rams controlled the game from start to finish and never trailed. CSU utilized a 15-4 run midway through the first half to extend their lead to 15 points. By the beginning of the second half, the lead was up to 20 points.
Behind Deonte Burton’s 27 points, the Wolf Pack began to chip away at the Colorado State lead late in the second half. With two minutes left in the game, the lead was down to just seven points, but that’s when the senior leadership showed for the Rams. CSU took care of the ball and knocked down all of its free throws in the final minutes of the game to hold on for the win.
The Rams will take on Fresno State on Wednesday in Las Vegas in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament. Tip off is slated for 3:30 p.m. MT.