Omogbo buzzer-beater takes down visiting Aztecs in front of Orange Out crowd

Justin Michael

Highlights provided by CTV Sports

Ad

Seconds after hitting a game-winning 3-pointer and securing a 56-55 victory over San Diego State University, an emotional Emmanuel Omogbo stood on the Moby Arena floor taking in the moment as Colorado State students began tumbling down from the bleachers in celebration of the first series sweep over the Aztecs since 2003.

Following the game the Rams veteran leaders told each other that they loved one another and joked about a porous offensive performance before Omogbo explained just how meaningful the moment was to him.

“I was unconscious,” Omogbo said. “That was probably my parents that forced the ball to go in, and my niece and nephew. I knew it couldn’t have been only me.”

In a game where the Rams struggled to score from the get-go and took a 12 point deficit into halftime, it very well looked like the “Orange Out” crowd would be heading home with heavy heads.

“I told them they could still win this game at halftime,” head coach Larry Eustachy explained after the victory. “I predicted before the game that we would come out with a little air about us and they (San Diego State) would have the eye of the tiger.”

Omogbo echoed similar thoughts.

“The crowd was really big for us. We knew we could not let them down,” he said. “We just took quick shots and weren’t playing the way coach Larry wanted us to play. The crowd was here and we wanted to give them some type of a show.”

Then the Rams came storming back and for a second time this season were able to overcome a double-digit lead to beat the Aztecs. After scoring 21 points in the first half the Rams scored 35 in the second, while giving up only 22.

Ad

“In the second half we kind of slowed down and got to ourself,” Omogbo said. “This is how we normally play on the road in the second half. We get chippy, fight for loose balls, not giving up offensive rebounds. We just find a way. We are always going to find a way.”

Despite putting up drastically better numbers in the second half, CSU finished the day 19-of-60 from the floor and made just seven of their 30 three point attempts. However, six of those seven came in the second half.

“San Diego State is so good defensively that they make you look bad offensively,” Eustachy said.

[new_royalslider id=”574″]

Photos by Javon Harris | Collegian

Similarly to the rest of the team it was a struggle for Omogbo offensively throughout the majority of the contest. He did manage to record his league-leading 17th double-double of the season (11 points, 11 rebounds), but was just 3-7 shooting on the night, none more important than the final three.

“I was missing all night, but I had to get one,” Omogbo said. “I wanted to take it but I was hesitating a little bit because I had missed a three (previously), but it was a last second shot, I had to shoot it.”

After beating the Aztecs (16-12, 8-8) Saturday night the Rams (20-9, 12-4) earned their first series sweep since 2003, and they now sit alone in first place with a pair of games remaining.

The Rams will take the court at Moby Arena for a final time this season Tuesday night when they host Wyoming in the Border War before traveling to Reno for a final game against Nevada.

“Coming off a win you can be more direct with your team, they’re not as fragile,” Eustachy said. “So we’ll be very direct tomorrow in our meeting and we have got to beat Wyoming.”

Collegian sports reporter Justin Michael can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or Twitter @JustinTMichael.