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Colorado State 83 – North Florida 55

December 18, 2012

On paper this game lined up to be a Colorado State blowout. But after 10 minutes it sure didn’t feel that way as the visiting Ospreys rolled out to a 17-9 lead after 10 minutes. The Rams were tentative and careless on offense and losing sight of the ball on the defensive side. Had a bit of an eerie feel to it. A touch of uneasiness throughout Moby. Was the 17 game home winning streak in jeopardy.

And then a subtle move by the coach.

Out came the bigs who had been completely ineffective and the Rams went to a smaller lineup of Greg Smith, Pierce Hornung, Daniel Bejarano, Dorian Green, and Wes EIkmeier.

And the game turned in a big way, led by the backcourt play of Green and Eikmeier, who scored inside and out and opened up the floor for the other players. A quick run to get back to 19 all, then another run to put them up for good at 27-24, fueled by the energy and perimeter shooting of Bejarano.

The extended run was on as the Rams were to outscore the Ospreys 74-38 over the final 30 minutes. Defense, rebounding, movement, effort, unselfishness.

Greg Smith led four Rams players in double figures with 15; remarkably, not one player had more than 9 FG attempts. Three Rams (Hornung, Smith, Bejarano) had 7 rebounds each, helping to produce a dominant 38-21 margin on the glass. 22 assists on 31 made baskets led by Green and Smith with 5 and Eikmeier with 4.

And defensively, Green and Jon Octeus held North Florida’s leading scorer and best perimeter shooter to 1-7 from beyond the arc. Eikmeier rendered the Osprey’s point guard ineffective as he turned him into a perimeter dribbler unable to get the ball into the paint or attack the rim.

Streaks – Dorian Green started his 105th consecutive game in a CSU uniform and played his finest game of the year, carrying the Rams during the rough start and sustaining it as the other players started to heat up.

More streaks 18 in a row at home. I am spoiled.

The Rams on the glass – The Rams are the number 2 offensive rebounding team in the country and the number 1 defensive rebounding team in the country. As a team they lead the NCAA in Rebounding Margin. They have three players in the Top 65 in the nation in offensive rebounding, led by the unblockoutable Pierce Hornung who is 7th, Greg Smith at 33rd, and Colton Iverson at 64th. Last night against North Florida we saw a team as committed as you could be on the glass as EIkmeier, Green, Bejarano, and Octeus all delivered tough rebounds in traffic.

40 minutes – Thats how long regulation games last. The Rams are getting better at competing for the entire 40 minutes. Five games ago, they delivered a great final 20 minutes at Washington, outscoring the Huskies 45-25. Last evening they were great for 30 minutes, with that 74-38 margin. The trend is good.

It aint always pretty, but its pretty effective – The Rams sometimes look pretty awkward in the half court. Sometimes a bunch of standing around, not a lot of screens as they punch the ball inside. But statistically they are the 29th ranked offense in D-1 when measured by points per possession averaging 1.10 per. Last night against North Florida, they were a very good 1.30 points per possession.

Remembering Newtown – There was a nice touch pre-game last night as the crowd was asked to observe a moment of silence for the children on Newtown, Connecticut. While the crowd was hushed, an infant was screaming. It was the most beautiful sound of the night.

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