Larry Eustachy may have had better wins in his 26 year career but maybe none as sweet as the 85-58 victory over Air Force Saturday at Moby Arena. It was win number 500 for Eustachy and it was also arguably the best half of basketball that Colorado State has during his tenure.
“You get a ball that says 500 on it and there are so many stories go into that 500,” said Eustachy after the game.
And then you dance.
After six lead changes, Colorado State (11-6, 3-1) was only up by five at the break. They came storming out of the locker room in the second half outscoring Air Force (8-8, 1-2) by 22 points. While the Rams shot a meager 40% from the floor in the first half, they exploded in the second shooting 63% from the field to beat the Falcons for the 11th consecutive time.
Colorado State had their best game from behind the arc of the season finishing with 14 three-pointers. The Rams eclipsed their season high for a single game (eight) in the second half alone when they hit nine three-pointers on 16 attempts.
‘You guys can make three’s you need to shoot’em. I thought we were hesitant in the first half obviously not in the second half,’ said Eustachy. ‘They don’t listen to me much but when I tell them they can start shooting three’s they really listen.’
Four Colorado State players were in double figures led by senior guard Gian Clavell’s 28 points. Clavell was lights out in the second half with 21 points and 4-6 from three-point range. Sophomore guard Prentiss Nixon finished with 20 points, redshirt freshman guard Anthony Bonner dropped in 11 points and senior forward Emmanuel Omogbo added 14 points to go along with his 10 rebounds for another double-double.
This victory was also special for Omogbo who lost his parents, niece and nephew in a house fire in Maryland nearly a year ago. Eustachy awarded Omogbo with the game ball. Omogbo’s double-double was his eighth on the season which leads the Mountain West Conference.
Colorado State doesn’t hit the hardwood for a game until next Saturday when they welcome New Mexico to Moby Arena. Tip off is set for noon and can be seen on Root Sports.