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CSU loses 1st conference home game in heartbreaking fashion

Collegian | Ava Puglisi
Isaiah Stevens pushes through Nevada defender Tré Coleman during the hard to watch CSU vs. Nevada men’s basketball game in Moby Arena on Feb. 27, 2024. (CSU lost 77-74)

Hearts shattered inside Moby Arena as Jarod Lucas banked in a half-court buzzer beater to end the game.

Despite the home success this season, Colorado State picked up their first home loss in conference play to Nevada in a 77-74 heartbreaker.


“Tonight was a gut punch,” coach Niko Medved said. “I’ll give them credit, they played really well, they made a lot of big shots when they had to have it. They obviously got off to a hot start and we cooled them down a little bit, but ultimately we couldn’t keep them off the free throw line.”

The Wolf Pack started off hot, shooting 50% from the field in the first half. Led by Lucas, Nevada jumped out to an 11-point lead at the break.

However, the Rams whittled away at Nevada’s lead, eventually finding themselves down only six points with 29 seconds left to go. Showing signs of life towards the end of the game with quality shots from guard Isaiah Stevens, including a game tying basket, and three missed free throws from Lucas. The Rams found themselves in a tie game, before Lucas broke the hearts inside Moby.

“We know who we are as a team as a program,” Stevens said. “We always are going to continue to fight no matter what the game may be looking like in that moment. We felt like we needed to string together some stops without fouling and we did that late and they also bailed us out with a few free throws and we were able to capitalize.”

Coming into the game, the Rams had only lost once at home all season, but the pace of play and the Wolf Pack’s tough shot making ability was simply too much for CSU.

Stevens and Joel Scott have been offensive weapons for the Rams in recent games, but in order to win close games other guys need to step up and take charge.

For CSU players guard Nique Clifford and forward Patrick Cartier finding their stride offensively is crucial heading into the rest of Mountain West game play.

“Those two dudes are some of the best shooters on our team,” Stevens said. “They’re track record this year speaks right to that. They’ll make their shots and we’re going to continue to trust them, those dudes work on their games everyday we see it day in and day out.”

Digging themselves out of the 11-point hole after the first half, the Rams put more emphasis on attacking the paint in the second half.


 Being physical in the interior has been the foundation for the Rams all season. When CSU is able to play a physical brand of basketball, good things tend to happen on the court.

“In the first half we were a little bit not as poised around the rim,” Medved said. “That was the game plan was to really try to attack the interior and that’s when we are at our best, and I thought we did a good job of that trying to establish the paint.”

Sustaining their physicality will be important heading into the Mountain West Championships.

With only two games remaining in the regular season, the Rams have a chance to put a halt to their three-game losing streak on Saturday in the second edition of the Border War against Wyoming.

Reach Luke Hojnowski at or on Twitter @lukehojo.

Interested in more sports content? Sign up for Ram Report here for weekly CSU sports updates!

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