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Colorado State 75 – Air Force 65

March 4, 2012

The Little Team That Can did it again, keeping their hopes to dance in March alive.

They did it by overcoming an incredible shooting display by the host Air Force Falcons with a great shooting game of their own. Wes Eikmeier led the way with 23 points but this one was all about offensive execution by the entire team as the Rams relentlessly attacked, attacked, attacked.

The Rams opened the came looking like they were headed downhill, running out to an 11-point lead in the first 12 minutes. Air Force was making three’s just to stay in the game and when the Rams cooled off a tad, the Falcons continued their long range barrage. And when they closed the lead to 4 on a pair of three-balls that had no business finding the bottom of the net (the first was so far off line and somehow rattled its way in, the second was banked in from the baseline), the game took on a different feel.

That was to continue on well into the second half and things took an even bigger turn as CSU’s locomotive, Pierce Hornung, went to the bench after picking up his 4th foul with about 12 minutes to go.

And then it happened.

CSU went to a 2-3 zone and forced a pair of Air Force turnovers. After the second one, Wes Eikmeier was knocked to the ground by exuberant Air Force freshman Max Yon. At that point the Rams led by 1 and were now in the bonus. As Yon was headed toward mid court he intentionally brushed Eikmeier earning a technical. Eikmeier to the line for a pair and then a 1 and 1? A season 87% shooter? Money!

And when EIkmeier followed on the next possession with a beautiful pass to set up a Will Bell dunk on a screen and roll, the Rams had expanded their lead to 7 and it was game, set, match as they spread the Falcons out and scored at the rim to finish it off.

And in doing so had delivered a famous victory for the many fans who had made their way to Clune Arena. Under the pressure of having to win, the Rams played their most consistent 40 minutes of basketball.

And now its on to Vegas to climb three more mountains.

Some other tidbits

Rams in Force – I can’t say enough about the Ram faithful who made the trek to the game. I was joined by my son, radio personality Renaud Notaro, and Mike Rowe. As we entered Clune, the amount of green present was astounding. And they made a difference during the game, especially with the C-S-U chant as Eikmeier was stepping to the line for his important free throws. Its always hard to estimate how many were there but I know this. They made an impact. And probably would have made a bigger one if the Athletic Department hadn’t scheduled the Good Time Auction on the same day.

Winning an internet bet– SO before the last Air Force game I made a bet with an Air Force fan and internet poster and won. The payoff was a pre-game Pepsi. We met up before the game and he was as gracious a host as could be. He bought me my Pepsi and we chatted about stuff as he introduced me to several other AFA internet fans.

A focused team – So the Rams were very focused during the game and all smiles afterward. One by one they came out of the locker room to visit with Ram fans. And yes the NCAA hopes were discussed some. But to the man, most of their talk was about going to Vegas and winning the MWC Tournament. Jesse Carr was wearing ice on his wrist, having picked up a bruise on his And-1 drive to the hoop. He said not to worry – just one of the 12-hour variety.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Good SHEPHERD permalink
    March 4, 2012 7:02 pm

    Saw you guys cheering down below. Had my kids up in the rafters…..and you’re right, the CSU contingent was great. It was so refreshing and such a relief to see us go down to that snake pit and win when we desperately needed. We’ve got some gamers on this team!

    I am regretting my comment earlier this year when I said we have a lot of very good players, but not a lot of winners on this team. Was said after a frustrating loss…..but they’re proving that comment wrong. Lots of heart on this team.

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