The Colorado State Rams lead by Travis Franklin's game high 22 points beat the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks 64-56 at Moby Arena. The Rams dominated the first half and had a 12 point lead. The Lumberjacks did come back and take a three point lead with ten minutes remaining. It did not stand up as the Rams swept their four game home stand to improve to 8-3. Catch more after the jump...
NAU was lead by guard Gabe Rodgers off the bench with 17 points. The Lumberjacks had a foul problem most the game and only shot 15 free throws to CSU's 38. Normally when there is that big of a discrepancy you expect a home court advantage but NAU just looked a step behind from playing on their second night of a back to back and most the fouls were warranted. They out shot the Rams from the field at 44% to 39% and 3-point land at 36% to 18%. The inability for the Rams to hit any shots at the start of the 2nd half is what let NAU back into the game.
Travis Franklin played another great game in front of a sparse holiday home crowd (2,419) and was easily the best player on the floor tonight. Dorian Green scored 18 points off a 33% shooting effort. Green's low shooting percentage will come back to haunt the Rams at some point but they do need a scorer and the Rams seem to be looking at him and Travis Franklin.
Great news for the Rams was the return of Jesse Carr, he only played 8 minutes and had 2 points along with one assist and one rebound but they were a different team with him out there. The first play he was in the Rams got a rebound kicked it out to Carr who raced down court and gave a great dish to Pierce Hornung for a traditional three point play. Green and Carr make up a good back court combo that should have the Ram Fans excited.
The Rams could make some noise in conference if they stay healthy and can put Carr, Green, Franklin, (Travis Busch, Greg Smith), and Andy Ogide on the floor with consistent minutes. Smith is a lengthy athletic freshman who had a double double with ten rebounds and ten points in just 21 minutes. His defense will need to step up before he starts taking more minutes from Adam Nigon even though he had two steals last night.
Quick thoughts on some Rams...
Andy Ogide played poor, I have said before if he has to dribble more then twice it is bad news. He consistently caught the ball 15 feet away from the basket and that makes him to easy to guard. In 17 minutes he had 4 points and 1 rebound.
Greg Smith could be a stud in a couple years, he has the size and athleticism to dominate games. If he just listens to Tim Miles and puts in the work the Rams got a real player on their hands.
Jesse Carr made the Rams a better team just by being on the floor, it was easy to see. Rams fans should put Jesse Carr's health on their holiday wish lists.
Tim Miles, I have never seen someone sub players so much and frequently. I am not exactly sure what your strategy was as the longest you had the same 5 guys on the court was maybe 3 minutes. It could mess with they players getting in a groove but not sure. I do like Tim Miles so I will just see how this plays out.
Pierce Hornung getting 33 minutes was interesting. He is small for a forward, does give 100% but I don't see a lot of growth potential in him as a player. He finished with 1 point, 1 steal, 1 assist, and 6 rebounds. Hornung just disappears on the offensive side of the ball and won't be able to match up to a bigger forward at his current size.
The Rams travel to UCLA for a big test on the road Tuesday.