Rams men’s basketball pulls through in foul-filled SLU battle

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Collegian | River Kinnaird

Colorado State guard Tavi Jackson shoots over two Southeastern Louisiana defenders to get the bucket Nov 11. The Rams won 80-69.

Karsyn Lane, Sports Director

Both coming off home-opening wins, the Colorado State University men’s basketball team hosted Southeastern Louisiana University tonight and brought home an 80-69 win on a 2-0 season so far.

It’s been roughly six years since the Rams and Lions first and most recently met in Moby Arena in 2016. Colorado State defeated Southern Louisiana 67-59 and was looking to serve up another loss. Identical to Monday’s buzzer beater blowout, the Rams’ starting lineup included:

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John Tonje (1)

Baylor Hebb (5)

James Moors (10)

Jalen Lake (15)

Isaiah Rivera (23)

Differing from their first game, the Rams didn’t hesitate and established an early 10-2 lead only four minutes into the game. This energy only continued to grow as Moby Madness grew louder, filling up the student section while CSU sunk a handful of threes. Both teams were 8-15 at the 3-point line by halftime.

“With the help of a couple of assists and easy layups, Colorado State extended their lead to 60-51 with only 10 minutes left in the match.”

“What I loved the most is how we were ready to play tonight,” CSU head coach Niko Medved said. “I thought we really embraced the challenge of coming out.”

Despite the Rams’ efforts, the Lions slowly closed in on the lead. Down to the last few minutes of the first half, the Rams were up by only four points, 35-31, and found themselves battling at the free-throw line. SLU delivered 10 fouls in the first half, compared with CSU committing five fouls and making eight of their nine free throws. Despite the Lions’ efforts, the Rams closed out the first half 42-40.

As for the second half, it became a battle between the two teams. Only a little more than three minutes in and the scoreboard was tied 46-46, pushing the Rams to challenge their defensive and offensive moves. With the help of a couple of assists and easy layups, Colorado State extended their lead to 60-51 with only 10 minutes left in the match.

 

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This was short-lived, as SLU pushed back, not allowing CSU to get comfortable at all. The teams tied yet again with seven minutes left at 62-62. Unfortunately for the Lions, anything is possible with a little Stalwart power. With great determination, the Colorado State Rams closed out tonight’s game with an 80-69 win against the Lions.

“We had to stay resilient in our defense and not put our heads down when (SLU took) those hard shots,” CSU forward Patrick Cartier said of the Rams’ changes in the second half. “We started taking care of the ball.”

The Rams will be back in Moby Arena Nov. 14 to host Weber State University at 7 p.m before hitting the road for the first time this season.

Reach Karsyn Lane at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @karsynlane1.