Colorado State outlasts No. 23 UNLV
by Matt L. Stephens, USA TODAY Sports
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Some wins taste sweeter depending on how they’re obtained.
Colorado State’s 66-61 victory over No. 23 UNLV on Saturday certainly hit a nice spot on the Rams’ palette.
Colorado State had gained a reputation this season of being a second-half team.
The Rams would weather the storm in the first, doing enough to get by, before having it all come together in the final 20 minutes.
That isn’t how Saturday’s story went against at home against No. 23 UNLV.
After never trailing in the first and leading by as many as 10, Colorado State University took a 31-26 lead into the locker room before UNLV quickly tied things up after the break. From there, it was a constant volley back and forth at Moby Arena until the Rams eventually pulled through in front of a crowd of 7,626.
“I thought in the last two minutes of the first half and beginning of the second half, I didn’t think we were playing as hard. Maybe I’m wrong, the film will show it,” Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy said. “We have to want to play for long periods at a time, and we did, but in the last two minutes we didn’t and the same to start the second.
“UNLV has great players and they make big-time shots. They took the same shots (in the second), but they just made them.”
Colorado State (15-3, 2-1 MW) didn’t have its greatest shooting performance Saturday. Averaging 45.5 percent from the field, the Rams were limited to 38.9 and when Wes Eikmeier hit a jumper to tie the game with 3 minutes, 59 seconds remaining, it would be the last Colorado State would connect on.
Despite field goal woes, Colorado State found a way to come through.
UNLV (15-4, 2-2) held its largest lead of 3 points with 3:40 to after a 3-pointer by Anthony Marshall — who finished with a team-best 21 points — but Colorado State consistently fought to draw fouls. Pounding inside or taking the hip-check on a drive, whistles blew in the Rams favor down the stretch.
The final 10 points scored by the Rams were all at … [For more on Colorado State outlasts No. 23 UNLV, click here.]