Colorado State managed to out-work yet another opponent early in the season Saturday afternoon as the Rams pulled out a victory against Evansville 79-72.
The victory ties the mark for the best record to start the season since 2005-06 for the Rams.
While maintaining a steady pace throughout the game, CSU got off to a 7-0 run early in the game and managed to preserve its lead throughout the second half while maintaining a lead of six or more points the entire game until the final minute.
Evansville mounted a furious run in the final four minutes of the game to cut the CSU lead to only four points with 20 seconds remaining. The Purple Aces were led by freshman guard DJ Balentine who led all scorers with 26 points on 6-10 shooting from beyond the arc and 20 points from senior guard Colt Ryan.
The Rams managed to close out the game, however with a long in-bounds pass that went to Greg Smith, who hit a layup as he was fouled on the other end. Smith added the free throw and essentially tied up the game for CSU.
CSU managed to maintain a deliberate pace in the game largely due to the fact that the Rams out rebounded Evansville 41-22 even without their leading rebounder of the season, Pierce Hornung, out in the game due to concussion-like symptoms.
Center Colton Iverson managed to pick up the slack on the boards while notching his fourth consecutive double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The victory for the Rams keeps CSU undefeated ahead of its showdown with No. 19 CU-Boulder Wednesday night at 8:30.
For more in-depth coverage of today’s game, be sure to check out Monday’s Collegian
Men’s Basketball Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org