ThIt wasn’t the way the season was supposed to end of Colorado State. The Rams overcame a lot this season but overcoming ice cold shooting and a hot start by the CS Bakersfield Roadrunners was too much to overcome. The Roadrunners led wire-to-wire to defeat Colorado State 81-63 and advance to the quarterfinals of the NIT.
Colorado State came into the game knowing that they had to attack CS Bakersfield down low and make their trips to the foul line count. They couldn’t do it. Possession after possession, the Roadrunners suffocating defense forced Colorado State to take long range three-pointers and other contested shots. When the Rams were able to get to the free thrown line they were unable to make the Roadrunners pay shooting a meager 65%. Well below their season average.
It wasn’t just the free throw line where Colorado State struggled. They had arguably their worst shooting performance of the season. They hit just 34% of their shots from the field and only 23% of their three-pointers.
Sophomore guard Prentiss Nixon single handedly kept Colorado State in the game early scoring seven of the Rams first eight points. He finished with 15 points with 13 of those coming in the first half. Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Gian Clavell finished with 21 points in his final game at Moby Arena.
CS Bakersfield completely shut down Colorado State senior forward Emmanuel Omogbo. Omogbo came into the game with 20 double-doubles on the season. He finished with three points and eight rebounds in his final collegiate game.
It wasn’t just the CS Bakersfield defense that frustrated Colorado State. It was also the Roadrunners ability to hit just about every shot they put up. The Roadrunners hit 48% of their shots and 57% from behind the arc. 10 of their 11 three-pointers came in the first half alone. CS Bakersfield had four players in double figures led by senior forward Jaylin Arington’s who had 19 points.
It’s not the way Colorado State wanted to finish the season but a 24-12 is nothing to hang their heads about. While Clavell and Omogbo will move on to professional basketball at some level some important pieces return to Ft Collins next year like Nixon, JD Paige and Nico Carvacho. While it may have been a long night for Rams fans, there are brighter days ahead with young team that grew up during the season and will be a force to reckon with in the Mountain West next season.