No moral victories for Rams in 66-60 loss to SDSU

Ryan Loberger

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — In games that result in losses, there are always teaching moments, and for the Colorado State men’s basketball team, there have been many throughout this season. Tuesday night, the Rams faced their biggest test of the season against No. 5 San Diego State University.

CSU was unable to come away with the victory, falling to the Aztecs by a score of 66-60. While the Rams led SDSU for more than half the game, there are no moral victories at this point in the season. 


“I told our guys, I don’t believe and will never believe in moral victories,” coach Niko Medved said. “This (game) was right there for us to win. What I really do believe in is the team and these guys and how they continue to grow.”

Slow starts have been an ailment for the Rams. Before Tuesday’s game, CSU had gone into halftime trailing the opposition in each of their last four games. It seemed like that streak would live on after the slow start the Rams had against SDSU.

The Rams found themselves in an 11-2 hole just minutes into the first half but rattled off a 9-0 run to bring them to 11-11 with just under 15 minutes remaining in the first half, eventually taking a 36-34 lead into halftime. 

“We just came bouncing right back,” Medved said. “I thought we played terrific in the first half. We responded to everything they threw at us.”

Efficient shooting helped propel the Rams early on. CSU shot 50% from the field (14-28), shot 40% from the 3-point line (4-10) and hit four of five shots from the charity stripe. However, in the second half, the Rams shot just 10% from the 3-line, the same percent they shot from beyond the arc in the second half against SDSU at home back on Dec. 4, 2019.

Medved credited the stingy scoring to the defense that SDSU has, which ranks No. 3 nationally and was tough on the Rams in the second half of the game. 

Though the Aztecs came out strong in their senior night, it was Malachi Flynn who led the Aztecs in the second half. Flynn totaled just two points in the first half off two free-throws but exploded in the second frame, scoring 15 points to finish the night with 17 points

Nico Carvacho led the Rams on offense, pouring in 17 points and collecting seven rebounds in the loss. Fellow big man Dischon Thomas was exceptional coming off the bench. The freshman was a big reason the Rams took control of the first half after climbing back into the game. Thomas knocked down a jump shot for two points and connected on two 3-balls after checking into the game.

“(Thomas) continues to play really well and have confidence in (his) shot,” Carvacho said. “He works really hard, and he’s been doing great in practice and continues to grow his confidence, and the more confidence, the more shots you make.” 


The Rams were in the game for its entirety. The only hiccup in their performance was a scoring drought in the last seven minutes of play. SDSU used a run to take a 62-56 lead and never looked back.

Nico Carvacho (32), Adam Thistlewood (31), David Roddy (21), Kendle Moore (3) and Isaiah Stevens (4) look on during CSU’s game against the SDSU Aztecs. (Ryan Loberger | Collegian)

“Obviously they’re a really elite defensive team,” Medved said. “I think we did a really good job defensively, but in that stretch, we just weren’t able to capitalize.”

The Rams will return to Moby for their final home game and senior night this Saturday as they host Air Force. The game will get underway at 2 p.m.

Ryan Loberger can be reached at or on Twitter @LobergerRyan.