The early basketball season has been good for the Colorado State Rams as they came away with a 75-62 victory at home against the visiting Mercer Bears.
After Mercer scored the first 3 points and led for the first minute and a half of the game, Joe De Ciman hit a three point shot for the Rams which sparked an 11-0 run over the next four minutes of the game. The Rams got up 11-3 and then ran away with the game. J.J. Avila led Colorado State's big first half with 12 points in the first twenty minutes, as the Rams carried a 40-30 lead into halftime over the Bears.
A quick 5-0 run by the Bears in the first minute of the second half brought Mercer to within 5 points at 40-35, but that would be the closest the game would get for the remainder of the nineteen minutes. Avila ended Mercer's quick run with a layup to help spark a 19-6 Colorado State run to make the score 59-41. The Bears were able to get the lead to as low as 10 points, but the early second half run by the Rams was just to big of a deficit for Mercer to overcome.
Colorado State had four of their five starters score in the double digits on Sunday night. Guard Daniel Bejarano led all scorers with 22 points. He added six rebounds and led the team with 7 assists. Avila ended the game with only 2 second half points to end the night with 14 points and eight rebounds. Stanton Kidd, who had a double-double in the Ram's previous matchup, had another good all around game. Kidd recorded 14 points, 5 offensive and 8 total rebounds, 2 assists, two steals and three blocks. De Ciman added 15 points for the Rams. The only starter not to record double digit points was big man Tiel Daniels, who scored 9.
The bench failed to make much of an impact for the Rams. The only Colorado State bench player that scored was Gian Clavell who scored just one point on 0-8 shooting. The Rams only played four bench players, and only Clavell and Carlton Hurst recorded over ten minutes. The rotation has been different each game as head coach Larry Eustachy is still adjusting to a team full of new talent.
With the win, the Rams move to 3-0 on the season as they get ready to travel to Alaska to compete in the GCI Great Alaskan Shootout. Their next game will be on Thursday at 12 a.m. MST (midnight) against the Missouri State Bears in the first round of an eight team tournament hosted by the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves. The other teams in the tournament include: the Pacific Tigers, the Mercer Bears, the Rice Owls, the Washington State Cougars and the California-Santa Barbara Gauchos. Each game of the tournament can be found on CBS Sports Network.