Colorado State men’s basketball took care of business with a dominant 70-41 win on the road against an undermanned San Jose State team.
The Rams improved to 17-2 (4-2 MW) while the Spartans, who only suited up eight players, fell to 2-16 (0-6 MW). John Gillon lead all scorers with 14 points while coming off the bench and J.J. Avila posted his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
“We played together all game, all 40 minutes,” Avila said. “I think we played really good defense and that was the biggest part of this game.”
CSU jumped out to an early 9-0 lead in front of a seemingly nonexistent crowd of 274. SJSU did not convert a single field goal attempt until nearly nine minutes into the game when a 3-pointer by Jaleel Williams cut the Rams’ lead to 14-5. That was about as close as the Spartans would get though as they shot a porous 17.4 percent from the field in the first half.
“I thought overall, we executed really well defensively,” CSU head coach Larry Eustachy said. “Nobody has come in here and done that to them. They played until the end.”
CSU lead 34-22 at the break, thanks in part to a strong outburst from Joe De Ciman who scored nine of his 12 points in the first half.
That lead never dwindled to single digits. A long 3-pointer by Daniel Bejarano and a pair of free throws by Tiel Daniels put the Rams up 39-24 at which point CSU began to really pull away.
The Rams did the dirty work necessary to prevent the Spartans from climbing back into the game despite their shooting woes. CSU won the rebounding battle 46-27, including 16 on the offensive glass. They also scored 19 points off of turnovers compared to just four by the Spartans.
“Coach was saying that he wants us to come out and have a better half,” Gillon said. “On my end he wanted me to stop reaching and picking up unnecessary fouls. He wanted us to stay solid on defense and he told us after the game that he felt like we did a good job of executing what he said.”
CSU hammered SJSU inside with 28 points in the pain and 15 second-chance points. Eustachy also got the lift he was looking for from his backups as the Rams bench produced 27 points. The Spartans were led by Rashad Muhammad who finished with 12 points on 3-of-13 shooting.
The Rams have a week off now to prepare for conference foe San Diego State who CSU will host at Moby Arena on Saturday, January 24 at 8 p.m. MST.
Collegian Sports Reporter Emmett McCarthy can be reached by email at email@example.com and on Twitter @emccarthy22.