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Rams victorious over Utah Valley in their return to Moby

The Colorado State men’s basketball team is still hot from their trip down south as the Rams cooked Utah Valley 92-61, their first game in Moby since the Cayman Islands Classic last week. UVU only had the lead for 53 seconds the entire game, which led head coach Niko Medved to say, “not a lot to complain about here today.”

The Rams, fresh off an impressive tournament (2-1), came home to defend Moby Arena. The game started off slow, as both teams were trading blows for the first five minutes. Then, the Rams went on a 17-point run and held the Wolverines scoreless for seven minutes.

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Freshman Dischon Thomas was a big part of the Rams’ early lead as he added eight points to the 17.

“I’m feeling very comfortable,” Thomas said. “Just learning, I’m always just learning, and just playing with confidence is the biggest part.”

Hyron Edwards brought in a defensive intensity when he checked in with 15 minutes remaining in the first half. This energy fueled the rest of the team, as they had six steals at the half. CSU was able to out-rebound UVU 37-24. Nico Carvacho was doing what he does best: grabbing 10 total rebounds and feeding his team with five assists.

“I could tell right away Hyron (Edwards) was locked in defensively,” Medved said. “That’s kind of where it (started), and then we were able to get out in transition.”

UVU was held to 38.6% from the field, shooting 22-57 and 24.2% from three on 8-33.

Isaiah Stevens was a spark plug out of halftime, making continuous hustle plays. Stevens also pulled a nifty move out of his bag of tricks and put his defender on the ground but missed the 3-point shot. The Rams were slumping and making sloppy plays with 12 minutes remaining. David Roddy prompted a Moby Arena eruption from the fans as he dunked over his defender for an and-one play on a fast break with 12:43 on the clock.

“We didn’t really come out in the second half like we really wanted to,” Kris Martin said. “We let in a little bit. They started getting in the paint, started to get comfortable offensively, so Medved called the timeout to get us together.”

P.J. Byrd checked in early in the second half for his first minutes of the season. Around the 5:33 mark, Byrd hit his first three of his CSU career. Then, nearly a minute later and after a Martin breakaway slam, he hit another one. If the Wolverines were not already deflated, they were after those threes.

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Thomas scored a career- and season-high 18 points on 7-8 shooting and 4-4 behind the free-throw line. The Rams had four players score double digits with Martin (10), Stevens (10), Thomas (18) and Roddy (10). CSU put up some of its best shooting numbers as a team with 58.9% from the field and 58.3% from 3-point land.

Medved credits some of the offensive numbers with the play on the other end.

“Our ability to get stops and knock the ball loose, I think that’s where everything starts with us,” Medved said. “You know it’s funny. It gets your energy going … when you play really good defense. I think it gives guys confidence to shoot the ball. I think that’s where it does start, and playing good defense helps your offense as much as anything.”

The Rams will get their first taste of conference play next matchup. They will host San Diego State (8-0) on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

“I expect San Diego State probably to be in the top 25,” Medved said. “We had to play well. We grew up a little bit in the Cayman Islands. I thought we played some good basketball down there. Not perfect, but we were better. … Now, we all know we are going to have to be even better on Wednesday to get the job done. We are going to have to have our best effort for the year, but why not have your best effort of the year?”

Tyler Meguire can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TMeguire

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