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Colorado State 77 – Nevada 66

March 10, 2013

Senior Night in Moby and what a night it was.

Pre-game at Fuzzy’s with a slew of Ram fans.

A chance to share a few minutes with the parents of our players.

And then the game.

It was surreal watching this special group of 5 seniors take the floor for the last time.

And the Rams made quick business, running out to an early double-digit lead as the CSU front line of Colton Iverson, Greg Smith, and Pierce Hornung had their way in the paint offensively. A 9-0 burst gave the Rams a 25-10 lead and the closest Nevada would get the rest of the game was 7 points.

And the 8745 Moby faithful were treated to a 4-year history over 40 minutes. With one exception.

Greg Smith showing his athleticism and versatility by scoring from the mid-range, scoring a dunk off a steal, and delivering probably the best dunk of his career, a soaring tomahawk early in the second half.

Colton Iverson scoring at the rim with a variety of dunks, jump hooks, and lay-ins, the best of which was an and-1 in the second half with Nevada players draped all over him. He extended his consecutive field goal streak to 19 before he finally returned to Earth with a miss in the second half.

Wes EIkmeier scoring early on a baseline jumper and a 3-ball in transition and then finishing the game off by going 8-8 from the free throw line. 6 assists in the absence of backcourt running mate Dorian Green. Consumate Eik.

Pierce Hornung filling up the stat sheet. A soaring tip-in, a steal and breakaway, a loose-ball tie-up on the floor, a steal and reverse layup. 16 points, 13 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists, and the guard on hot shooting Malik Story who had torched the Rams for 31 points in the first meeting.

And then there was the exception. An incredible twist of fate. Rock solid Dorian Green, he of 127 consecutive starts over his career at CSU, knocked out of the game with an ankle injury. Top 10 in scoring and assists over his career with goose eggs for his final game. It was a move by the Basketball Gods that will leave me puzzled until the day I die.

In the end, a virtuoso performance to earn the Rams a 2nd place regular season finish in the Mountain West Conference, their highest ever.

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Streaks and Records – Dorian Green started his 127th consecutive game in a Ram uniform. Greg Smith joined Green and Wes Eikmeier as a 1000 point scorer in his CSU career. Eikmeier’s 8-8 performance from the free throw line left him at 52-55 for the MWC Conference games, setting an MWC record for Free Throw % at .945. Iverson must have set some kind of consecutive field goal record with 19 in a row. Pierce Hornung broke the all-time Ram steal record held previously by Milt Palacio. The Rams won 24 games in a season for the first time in school history. Coach Larry Eustachy became the first coach in NCA history to win 24 or more games at 5 different schools.

Emotions – There were a lot of people fighting tears throughout. Including myself. Watching Dorian come out of the game on what should have been a 40-minute curtain call was tough. But the toughest of all was seeing the little 4-year-old boy who sits next to us crying as Pierce Hornung was being honored post-game. Aidan had his #4 shirt on and he absolutely worships Pierce. His eyes were red and wet as he was watching Pierce for the last time at Moby.

The next chapter… – On to the MWC Tournament as a #2 seed against Fresno State who upset UNLV yesterday in the T&M. I told assistant coach Leonard Perry it was time to do some damage out there. He looked at me and said “One at a time. One game at a time.”

And finally… – I don’t get paid to write this blog. I write this because of my passion for college basketball. And I do it with the hope that I will touch one or two people here or there. Before the game yesterday, Pierce Hornung’s mom and grandmom thanked me for the column I had written the other day about our 5 seniors. They both said they were fighting tears as they read it. And then Pierce’s dad Stan thanked me for the kind words I had written. All I can say is thank you Stan and Jennifer and Randy and Shelly and the rest of the parents for bringing us such a great group of kids. Getting to watch this team and getting to know you has made my life that much richer.

One of the fans who sits behind me asked me how I would deal with basketball season ending and not being able to cheer for our players and yell at the refs and stuff. I told her one word.

“Golf.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Shiner permalink
    March 10, 2013 8:30 pm

    Great one Swoll!!!! Going to miss watching this group of guys. They are special. They have been great role models representing CSU Basketball, the Athletic Department and CSU Students. I have watched a lot of basketball over the years and never have I hated leaving a stadium knowing that a group would never take their home court again. Last night changed that and I was sad that the Moby Era for these guys is over.

    On to the MWC tourney, the NCAA tourney, and life for the rest of these guys. They will do well in all aspects of these three items!

  2. CitizenRam permalink
    March 11, 2013 12:43 am

    Swoll, you nailed it as always. I’m not ready for this season to end just yet and I have the feeling neither are these Rams. It was surreal watching the final home game of the season and “The Iron Man” Dorian Green having to sit out with an injury. Let’s hope he’s able to go this week and more importantly in the NCAA tournament the following week.

  3. March 11, 2013 4:20 am

    I’ve enjoyd your blog all season long and have appriecated the insights, reflects and laughs each week. I’m a Ram fan first, however you do a nice job of getting into the detail with the other front range schools. Well done, looking forward to more indights in the next three weeks. Good job!

    • March 11, 2013 4:22 am

      Thanks for the kind words. I won’t be attending the MWC Tourney in Vegas but plan to blog CSU’s games in the NCAA Tournament just like last year.

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