The Nevada Wolfpack (6-9, 2-1) visited the Colorado State Rams (15-2, 2-2) in Fort Collins on Wednesday night in an attempt to steal a win on the road against the Rams. Colorado State was missing their top player J.J. Avila, who was suspended for one game after an altercation at Air Force this past Saturday. With the Rams missing their big man, Nevada's AJ West was expected to have a big game. However, Colorado State had something else in mind.
After hanging on to beat Air Force in their previous game, the Mountain West's top scoring team was looking to get back to their dominant gameplay. Center Tiel Daniels got the opening basket for the Rams, and the rout was on from there. Colorado State raced out to a 55-12 halftime lead behind the scoring of Gian Clavell, Fred Richardson III and Daniel Bejarano.
The Wolfpack played better basketball in the second half, but a 43 point deficit is just way too much to overcome, and the game eventually ended with a final score of 98-42. The 56 point victory is the largest margin of victory in school and conference history.
After a promising performance on Saturday, Carlton Hurst got his first start of the season in place of Avila, and he made the most of his minutes. Though he only scored four points, he grabbed six rebounds and played solid defense. Clavell led the way for the Rams, scoring 21 points, including going 4-7 from three point range. Richardson was right behind him, scoring 20 points on 4-4 shooting from long range. Bejarano added 10 points and led the team with nine rebounds, while reserve guard John Gillon led the team with 11 assists.
The Wolfpack only had one player reach double figures in scoring, and that was West who is their leading scorer. West finished with 10 points and 9 rebounds, while second leading scorer D.J. Fenner shot 2-9 for only four points.
With the win, the Rams move to 16-2, 3-2 on the season. The 98 points on the night is the highest scoring total of the season for Colorado State, and their second game in a row scoring over 90. Up next for the Rams is a trip to San Jose State on Saturday, January 17th, where they will face the 2-15 Spartans. That game tips off at 8:00 pm MT and can be seen on the Mountain West Network online.
With the loss, the Wolfpack fall to 6-10, 2-2 on the season. After starting 2-0 in conference play, Nevada has dropped two straight games. They will look to right the ship when they travel to Logan, Utah to take on the Utah State Aggies in one of the most difficult venues to win in the conference. The contest between the Wolfpack and the Aggies is on Tuesday, January 20th. Tipoff is set for 7:oo pm PT and can be seen online at NevadaWolfPack.tv.