The third meeting between the Colorado State Rams (17-15, 9-10) and the San Jose State Spartans (9-22, 4-14) had to wait a while to get started. The 4 p.m. PST scheduled tip-off was pushed back an hour because UNLV and Air Force needed three overtimes to decide who would move on to the next round of the Mountain West tournament.
The extra time seemed to benefit the Rams came out as focused as they have been all season on their way to a 80-61 win. While the first two meetings were decided by nine points, the Rams were in full control of this one as they led wire to wire and advanced to play the Boise State Broncos (20-11, 11-7) on Thursday night.
The Rams looked like the team head coach Larry Eustachy wanted them to look like this entire season especially in the first half. They shut down the Spartans allowing only 24 points and cleaned up on the glass with 21 rounds which led to 12 second chance points. The Rams went up 21-10 early but allowed the Spartans to claw their way back into striking distance with a 7-0 run. The Rams halted the Spartans comeback attempt with a 14-0 run towards the end of the half to put them up 43-24 going into the locker room.
The second half was more of the same as the Rams would go up by as many as 25 points. The Spartans pressure and some sloppy play by the Rams did let the Spartans close the gap to 16 points but they couldn’t get any closer despite the Rams 14 turnovers.
Even with the turnovers, the Rams played about as well as they have all season shooting 55 percent from the field and 8-20 from behind the arc. They had five players in double figures led by redshirt senior guard Antwan Scott and redshirt junior guard John Gillon who both dropped in 17 points. Scott hit two from three-point range to give him 90 for for the season which ties a school record for a single season.
Junior forward Emmanuel Omogbo contributed 10 points and 13 rebounds for another double-double. Senior forward Frank Rogers and senior guard Prince Onwas both had 11 points to lead the Spartans. Things get tougher for the Rams as they take on the #3 seed Broncos.
Tip-off is scheduled for 9:30pm MST and can be seen on CBS Sports Network.