That one stings.
In a game severely slowed down by the whistle, there were 53(!) fouls called between the two teams, star Sophomore guard Grant Sherfield’s 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds sank the Rams in a heartbreaking loss to end CSU’s regular season.
It was a tough task going in for Colorado State. The was the 4th game in 7 days for the Rams, all coming after a 3-week hiatus caused by other teams having to cancel due to Covid complications. Ending this stretch with a tough road test against a very good and underrated Nevada team, led by one of the best players in the Mountain West Conference in Sherfield, looked to be a tough task. But CSU has a couple studs of their own in David Roddy and Isaiah Stevens, making this quite the heavyweight bout to end the year.
The game started off slowly and never really picked up. Unfortunately for the fans of both teams, officials did not let either team play in this one. This was a disappointing development throughout the game for two conference foes trying to play a physical brand of basketball. Because of this, 71 total free throws ended up being the story of this game. Both teams lived at the charity stripe, with CSU hitting 32-34 and Nevada 28-37.
The abundance of whistles aside, Colorado State controlled this game for much of the first half. The 44-37 score heading into the break wasn’t as big of lead as the Rams would have hoped after carrying a 13 point lead with 4:22 to go in the half. Nevada did a good job cutting down the lead heading into the break, and the Rams lost an opportunity to potentially put this one away early.
Sherfield and the Wolfpack came out hungry in the second half, biting off chunks of CSU’s lead until eventually tying the ballgame and making this one a back and forth contest until the very end. Tied at 82 with the ball in their best players hands, CSU’s David Roddy turned the ball back over to Nevada in a questionable no-call. Sherfield hit the 3 with 0.8 seconds left, giving the Rams had one last chance. The former high school Quarterback, Roddy heaved the ball to Stevens who hit an incredible shot that didn’t count. The refs ruled he stepped out of bounds. The shot also looked to barely still be in his hands before the buzzer sounded. Colorado State fought till the bitter end.
Both Stevens and Roddy ended the game with 20 points, Roddy adding 10 rebounds as well. Kendal Moore added 15, and John Tonje had 12 of his own off the bench. Adam Thistlewood, who scored a career high 27 points in their previous matchup against New Mexico, got in foul trouble early and ended the night with Zero points.
The Ram’s NCAA tournament hopes took a big hit with this loss. Meanwhile, Nevada keeps playing better and better, looking to be a threat this coming week in the Mountain West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas. The Rams on the other hand are in a better position overall than the Wolfpack, but will need to have a good showing in the conference tournament for the selection committee to feel comfortable including them in the 64 team field. Their first test is this Thursday, March 11th against the winner of Fresno State and New Mexico.