Men's basketball recap: Rams defense too much for Adams State

Dec. 29, 2012

Final Stats

By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Colorado State Rams improved to 11-2 on Saturday afternoon, after they defeated the Adams State Grizzlies, 80-55, at Moby Arena.

With the win, CSU’s home win streak is now up to 20 games, the fourth longest active streak in the nation. The Rams have now also won each of their last five games by at least 15 points, the first time the program has done that since 1970.

Seniors Dorian Green and Colton Iverson led the way for the Rams on offense with 17 points each, while Wes Eikmeier and Greg Smith each scored in double figures as well.

“I was just trying to bring energy; push the ball, push the tempo, share the ball and create for other guys,” Green said. “They weren’t helping off our bigs so I had shots. I just tried to push the tempo a little bit more and be more aggressive.”

As a team, Colorado State was very efficient on offense, shooting 48.3 percent from the field, while forcing Adams State into a lot of tough shots. The Grizzlies shot just 29 percent on the day.

Trailing 5-3 in the first minute of the game, head coach Larry Eustachy took a timeout to address his teams effort. The Rams responded, hitting a three-pointer on the very next possession to take the lead. CSU would not trail for the rest of the game.

Midway through the first half, Colorado State used a 10-2 run to extend their lead, and seemingly take control of the game. The Grizzlies (7-1) showed their persistence, and scored seven straight points in two minutes to cut the lead to 24-20, but that was as close as Adams State would get.

The Rams ratcheted up its defensive effort and finished the last five minutes of the first half on a 17-2 run; a run that would continue into the second half.

“I thought we had some great stops and made some great plays,” Eustachy said. “Our defense is terrific. This could be as good of a defensive team as I’ve had.”

Utilizing its tough defense that created easy offense, CSU got off to a quick start in the second half. With 16 minutes left in the game, the Colorado State lead was up to 56-24, thanks to a 32-4 run. During that run, the Rams held the Grizzlies without a field goal for  7:42.

“I thought they got some back-breaking plays in the middle of the game when we were down by just a few buckets in the first half,” Adams State Head Coach Louis Wilson said. “They guard at such a hard level. They were able to get stops and able to use their defense to create offense.”

With the big lead, the Rams did not let up, and applied consistent pressure throughout the second half that visibly frustrated the Adams State players. The frustration culminated when senior center Vinny Novaes elbowed Pierce Hornung in the head as the two players ran down the court. Novaes was assessed with a flagrant 2 foul, and was ejected from the game.

“It is just basketball,” Hornung said of the incident. Hornung finished the game with seven points and eight rebounds, while freshman guard Jon Octeus paced the team with a career-high nine rebounds. Six separate Rams grabbed at least six rebounds, leading CSU to 51 rebounds as a team. It was the first time that Colorado State has tallied at least 50 rebounds in a game, since it hosted Fairfield in the first round of the NIT in March of 2011.

The Rams dominated the game inside, outscoring the Grizzlies 36-16 in the paint and 14-4 off of turnovers.

Colorado State will look to extend its home win streak when it hosts UTEP on Jan. 2. Tipoff between the Rams and the Miners is slated for 8 p.m. MT. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.