Postgame notes: Murray State 58, CSU 41

March 15, 2012

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TEAM NOTES

  • CSU played its first NCAA tournament game since a 79-67 loss to No. 3 seed Duke in the first round on March 20, 2003, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The NCAA appearance marked the ninth in program history.  CSU now is 3-10 all-time in the tournament.
  • The Racers outscored CSU 18-2 over the first 10-plus minutes of the second half, breaking the game open.
  • Today marked the first-ever meeting between the Rams and Racers.
  • The Rams carried a 24-23 lead into the locker room. CSU jumped out to a 10-3 lead with 15:10 remaining, fell behind by five at the 6:54 mark, then retook the advantage on Jesse Carr’s three-pointer with 1:44 left. CSU outscored the Racers in the first half 10-8 in the paint, and 9-7 in bench scoring. The Rams also commanded a 21-14 rebounding edge.
  • CSU held Murray State to 23 points in the first half, matching the Racers’ season low (Murray State also trailed 24-23 on a neutral court in an eventual 64-62 win over Alaska-Anchorage on Nov. 23).
  • Looking ahead to next season, the Rams lose only two seniors, G Kaipo Sabas and F Will Bell. They return four starters, including all three all-conference selections (G Wes Eikmeier, F Pierce Hornung and G Dorian Green). What’s more, CSU adds to its arsenal G Daniel Bejarano (Arizona) and 6-10 F/C Colton Iverson (Minnesota), Division I transfers that sat out this season. CSU played its fifth ranked team (eight games, including conference foes), extending the single-season school record. CSU finished 3-5 against ranked teams in 2011-12.
  • The Rams used only eight players until inserting Cody Mann and Chad Calcaterra with 1:12 left in the game.
  • CSU has advanced beyond the opening round in the NCAA tournament two times, in 1969 and 1989.
  • With the loss, CSU finishes the season 20-12. The 20 wins ties for the Rams’ fifth-most wins in program history, the first CSU team to reach that mark since the 1997-98 campaign.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • F Pierce Hornung tied a career-high with 17 rebounds (two previous occasions, vs. Air Force, Feb. 4, 2012; at San Francisco, Nov. 29, 2009). He had 11 boards in the first half, helping the Rams to a 24-23 advantage on the scoreboard at intermission. His last rebound in the first half marked the 500th of his career.
  • Hornung now has 14 career double-digit rebounding games, and the Rams now are 12-2 in those contests.
  • Hornung also registered his sixth career double-double, the first time in six games the Rams have lost such an effort.
  • G Dorian Green made his 96th consecutive start.
  • Green, who entered averaging 13.5 points per contest, was held scoreless for only the fifth time in his career. The last opponent to hold him without a point was Montana, in the first game of the 2011-12 campaign, a 64-58 win Nov. 11 at Moby Arena.
  • G Wes Eikmeier in the first half surpassed 750 points in his career, which began at Iowa State.