Colorado State (4-3) tipped off against the Southern Illinois Salukis (4-3) in the final game of the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge, and it was all Salukis. Colorado State looked helpless as the Salukis out-rebounded the Rams 34-17 and outscored them 44-20 in the paint. Nico Carvacho – CSU’s leading rebounder for the season – only managed to snag 3 total rebounds all game. None of those were offensive rebounds.
Since CSU could not establish much inside, there was trouble finding offensive rhythm throughout the game. Thanks to great shooting though, the Rams kept it close at 45-40 through the first half. J.D. Paige and Kendle Moore both shot perfect from the floor in the first half; and Kris Martin had a stellar performance from the bench.
It was all downhill from there however, as the Rams were unable to stymie the constant flow of points, and continued to get crushed inside. Second half adjustments provided a short lived boost for the Rams, forcing several early turnovers. Despite that, the Salukis were able to recover and were able to hit tough shots to keep the game virtually out of reach.
The Salukis returned with all five starters from a 20-win team last year. Five players were in double digits in Tuesday’s game against the Rams. Senior Guard Armon Fletcher led all scorers with 20 points and 8 rebounds.
For the Rams, Anthony Masinton-Bonner and Kris Martin both led the team with 15 points.
The Rams look to put a 2-game slide behind them as they take on Colorado in the Rocky Mountain Showdown on Saturday, Dec. 1st. The game will be played at 1:00 PM MST in Boulder. Colorado State has won the past two match-ups against the Buffs.