The Colorado State men’s basketball team took their frustrations out on the court Saturday night, ending a two-game losing skid with a 64-56 road victory over the Utah State Aggies.
In a game which the Rams never trailed, CSU (12-8, 4-3 Mountain West) won with a gritty defensive effort and smart, unselfish team basketball on the other end.
Emmanuel Omogbo shined in the victory, leading the team in scoring and picking up the 18th double-double of his career (20 points, 16 rebounds). Omogbo’s 10 double-double’s this season leads the Mountain West. His presence is vital to this team on both ends of the floor and the senior did a nice job at putting himself in a position where he could stay on the floor and help close out the victory.
“We had some good days leading up to today,” CSU head coach Larry Eustachy said in a statement. “When we started the Fresno State game, we got the tip and Prentiss (Nixon) flipped it back with one hand to J.D. (Paige) and the rest was history. Today he snapped it back to him. We are talking about maturing an inch at a time and I thought we showed great poise until the very end and that’s just immaturity trying to mature. But what a win.”
Along with a strong performance from Omogbo, the Rams guards also played a big role in the victory by protecting the basketball. Gian Clavell, J.D. Paige and Prentiss Nixon combined for just three turnovers while contributing a total of 38 points.
After being blown out by the Bulldogs Wednesday night, Saturday night’s victory was huge for a Rams team that has struggled to do the basics over the last couple of games. Tonight, the Rams were able to get back to what they do best, which is playing strong defense and owning the post. The Rams out-rebounded the Aggies 41-37, while holding them to 37 percent shooting from the field. Colorado State has won the rebounding battle in 12 of their 20 games this season, going 10-1 in those contests.
The win over the Aggies is just the second of Larry Eustachy’s Colorado State tenure and first since March 7, 2015. The win also puts the program at one game above .500 in their 115-year history (1,228 – 1,227).
Colorado State will take the court again this Wednesday, when they host the San Jose Spartans (9-8) at Moby Arena.
Collegian sports reporter Justin Michael can be reached by email at email@example.com or Twitter @JustinTMichael.