Celebratory send-off win for CSU seniors against New Mexico


Collegian | Jaiden Stanford

Colorado State University forward Isaiah Stevens (4) shoots the ball while being guarded by a Utah State University player Feb. 4. Though CSU lost 88-79, Stevens was the leading scorer for the Rams with 25 points.

Karsyn Lane, Sports Director

Bittersweet night in Moby Arena as four seniors were celebrated and Colorado State University’s final matchup of the regular 2022-23 season. Tonight’s four seniors include Isaiah Stevens, John Tonje, James Moors and Nick Bassett. Closing out their last game in Ram fashion, Colorado State defeats University of New Mexico 92-84.

This weekend and tonight’s matchup will really determine the Ram’s position heading into the Mountain West Conference tournament on Mar. 8 in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center. Prior and through tonight’s game, Colorado State sits ranked #10, while the Lobos rank #6 in the MW.


Prior to tonight’s tip-off, Colorado State recognized the four seniors and their family members with a framed jersey and a standing ovation send-off. Starting off strong, Colorado State won the tip-off and the Rams offense were quick with passing the ball and careful about taking shots. Nearly five minutes into the first half, the Rams trailed the Lobos by 1 point, 8-9. 2 of those shots were assisted by Stevens and almost every starter put up 2 points, despite trailing.

It wasn’t long until CSU stole the lead back, as the Rams run passes around the key and it ends up in the hands of Baylor Hebb. Hebb set himself up quickly and secured the 3-pointer from the side, pushing CSU ahead 17-15 with a little over 12 minutes left. A few minutes later, Patrick Cartier hit a 3-pointer from the top and pushed himself to 2,000 points in his career. Tonje also reached a career-high, hitting 1,000 points in the matchup

“It means the world to me because I just wanted to be the last guy on the bench for a Division 1 team. I never would have thought I would hit 1,000. … I was surprised in high school when I got it, so for me to hit it in college was a surreal moment on senior night with my friends and family here” said Tonje regarding his accomplishment.

In the final five minutes of the first half, things got intense as the Rams worked to build a stronger lead. The Lobos were tough and fought back to put themselves 1 point behind the Rams, 31-30 with only three minutes left. Despite their efforts, Colorado State defended Moby and headed into the half up 41-35.

Halftime consisted of celebrating the CSU Golden Poms, Spirit Squad and Marching Band member seniors. The senior students were recognized for their work and dedication to the program with flowers accompanied by their family members. The most exciting event of halftime was the final “Beer for a Year” sponsored by the New Belgium Brewing Company, as a student secured his half-court shot and the arena went wild.

To kick off the second half, Tonje drove to the basket securing 2 points and pulled a foul, ultimately scoring 3 points with his free throw. Shortly followed by a 3-pointer from Jalen Lake, which put a 10-point gap between the teams, 49-39. By the 13th minute, the Rams managed to push their lead even further to 12 points, leading 66-54.

Halfway through the final half, the Lobos slowly began to close the Rams’ lead as they trailed by only 6 points, 66-60. As the scoreboard clock dwindled, the Rams worked even harder to pull through in the last moments. Despite the Lobos’ efforts, the Rams wanted to end off with a win. Not only that, but Stevens managed to break another single-game assist record for CSU with 13 assists, and still three minutes left in the matchup.



“It’s not easy to do every day as they have, and if you’re around this group one thing that has never changed is who they are and their spirit.” said head coach Niko Medved.

Closing out tonight’s senior celebration, Colorado State defeated New Mexico 92-84. The Rams will have a few days before traveling to Las Vegas, where you can watch the Mountain West tournament on the Mountain West Network and tune into The Collegian for daily recaps from Sports Editor Braidon Nourse.

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