CSU drops overtime Border War game in 2nd consecutive loss

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Collegian | Devin Cornelius

Isaiah Stevens (4), John Tonje (1), Kendle Moore (3) and David Roddy (21) all look at their teammate after a foul is called during Colorado State University’s game against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Jan. 28. CSU lost 88-74.

Taylor Paumen, Sports Director

The Colorado State University men’s basketball team headed north to close out the month against the University of Wyoming Cowboys in Laramie, Wyoming, for the annual Border War

The match was anyone’s game, as Wyoming was second (5-1 conference, 16-3 overall) in the Mountain West Conference with CSU right behind them in third (6-2, 16-2). Ultimately, the Cowboys beat the Rams 84-78.

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To start the first half of the Border War, the Rams seemed to take a while to get warmed up, and they missed several shot opportunities and were behind on defense.

In the first six minutes, the Cowboys had a 10-5 lead, while the Rams had already accounted for two personal fouls due to low-standard defense. 

With the clock showing 11:13 remaining, John Tonje secured a layup, getting the Rams to tie at 12, which he followed with a free throw to gain their first lead of the night, 13-12. 

The Rams were staying alive with floaters and layups, but despite their efforts, CSU was continuously outplayed with deep threes from the Cowboys. 

In the last six minutes of the first half, the two rivals traded leads five times, both fighting hard to go into halftime with the lead. Despite referees going along with a home-court advantage mentality, the Rams headed to the locker room with a one-point lead, 35-34.

Going into the second half, the Rams needed to play solid defense, as David Roddy, Dischon Thomas and Tonje all had two personal fouls. 

Throughout the first 10 minutes, Colorado State kept a small lead, with veteran moves and shots made by Roddy and Isaiah Stevens.

Isaiah Stevens (4) Fights with a defender as he drives toward the basket
Isaiah Stevens (4) fights with a defender as he drives toward the basket during the Colorado State basketball game versus the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Jan. 28. CSU fell short 88-74. (Collegian | Devin Cornelius)

Regardless of the Rams’ efforts to improve their defense, the referees handed out seven team fouls in the second half with eight minutes left, initially giving the Cowboys back their lead, 56-54

In the final seconds of regular gameplay, both teams had a chance to take the win. Roddy had the opportunity to win the game if he had made two free throws after a shooting foul. He went 1-1, tying the game at 70 and pushing the game into both teams’ first overtime of the season. 

In the five minutes of overtime, Roddy fouled out on a charge with two minutes left, soon followed by a Cowboys three, giving them the lead 81-76 with less than 20 seconds left on the clock. The Rams headed back to Fort Collins with their second loss in a row, falling to Wyoming 84-78.

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The Rams are now 16-3 overall and will be back in Moby Arena this Friday, Feb. 4 to take on San Diego State University. 

Reach Taylor Paumen at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TayTayPau.