Colorado State (4-4) lost to Colorado (5-1) in a tight one on Saturday afternoon. The Buffs were able to overcome a slow start in the first half and pull out a win in a game that came down to second-half adjustments and free-throw shooting. It is the first win for the Buffs in the last three match-ups with CSU.
It was a true rivalry game with big runs by both teams, and an a fast pace. CSU – who struggled to get anything going offensively in the last game – looked very put together early with great rotation on offense. Four players reached double-digit figures, and Nico Carvacho earned himself a double-double, with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Kris Martin (21) and hometown hero, J.D. Paige (17) led CSU scorers.
The Rams were able to calm their nerves and settle in quickly, and were able to build some success on rotating the offense to find open 3-point looks. They were able to capitalize early, shooting 50% from the floor and 45.5% from downtown in the first half. The Buffs were still getting their feet under them, but the their top two scorers, Tyler Bey and Lucas Siewart kept them in the game. The Rams closed out the first half with a 3-point lead.
Second-half adjustments provided to be the key for the Colorado, and they came out of halftime hot. Buffs were able to find better offensive movement, leading to an 11-11 FG run. On top of that, they were able to force CSU in to a long drought and built their largest lead of the game, up 11 points with about 6 minutes left to play in the game.
It looked like the game was going to slip into disaster for the Rams. Colorado was crushing the Rams on the boards, and finding open looks early. But CSU was able to tighten their defense temporarily to spark a furious 4-minute rally, led by Anthony Masinton-Bonner and J.D. Paige. After fighting their way back into the game, CSU finally retook the lead with about 2:30 left to play, off a spectacular 3-pointer from AMB. They were unable to sustain the rally. A quick and-one play down low, and a wide open dunk propelled the Buffs to victory down the stretch.
The Rams fall to .500 on the season. They look to push themselves back into positive territory as they take on the 4-1 Arkansas Razorbacks in Fort Collins on Dec. 5th. The two will square off at 8:00 PM MST.