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Colorado State 83 – Loyola Marymount 75

November 20, 2015

It wasn’t a Moby classic.  But it was a win as the Rams roared back from a first half deficit to record their second win of the young season.

And I emphasize young season.

Because this is the time of year when teams experience some ups and downs and what appears to be improvement in one game turns into what looks like a step backward in the following game.  And thats kind of how this game felt after a solid road win at Northern Iowa.

Once again, the Rams fell in love with the perimeter on the offensive end.  The path to the hoop was wide and the visiting Lions were fouling a lot but somehow the Rams decided to shoot pull-ups and long range bombs rather than going to the rack.  Combine that with a less that stellar defense that allowed Loyola Marymount and their point guard Brandon Brown to dictate the pace and all of a sudden CSU trailed by 9 just a little past midway through the opening stanza.

Freshman Prentiss Nixon came off the bench to give the Rams a bit of a spark and they went into the locker room at intermission only trailing by 3.

A slow start on the scoreboard caused by a couple of careless turnovers resulting in easy baskets for the Lions and the Rams’ deficit was back to 5.  

And then the Rams did what they do best.  They attacked the rim on the offensive end and voraciously gobbled up every rebound on the defensive end.   Their speed and strength was too much for the visitors who had no choice but to commit fouls.  The Rams made something like 8 straight field goals and threw a bunch of free throws in there as well and next thing you know they were up 11 and seemingly in charge.

Not so fast my friend!

A couple of selfish shots by guards Gian Clavell and John Gillon early in the clock and a pair of makes from the perimeter by the Lions and the next thing you know, the Rams lead was back to 3.  They managed to close the game out offensively from the free throw line and by getting stops on the defensive end, mostly because Loyola Marymount’s main scorers had fouled out.

Gian Clavell led the way with 21 and Emmanuel Omogbo had 19.  Antwan Scott came off the bench to score 17 and Joe De Ciman , the steadiest of the Rams, finished with 15.  Yes they shot 9-18 from behind the arc but this was a game where they could have had their way getting to the rim on nearly every possession. 

As a fan, I was actually pleased with what transpired. Not because CSU played great because they certainly  did not.  But because they had some extended periods when they played well on both ends of the floor, got the ball to the basket, and made their free throws with regularity (32-42 for the game).  The defense was good at times and soft at others.  

There are a lot of veterans on this team but they have not played a lot of games together.  They are a new team.  You can harp on practice all you want but ultimately the game is the teacher.

And there are plenty of lessons to learn for this team.

One final thought… 2-0 is a lot better than 1-1.    And as talented as this team might be, they have a way to go before I will ever assume that any game, and I mean any game, is going to be a laugher.  The Rams can play but they can’t play focused basketball for 40 minutes yet.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Judge Smails permalink
    November 20, 2015 12:00 pm

    Former Loyola Coach, and Windsor Resident, Steve Aggers was in attendance. He said he loves reading this bolg.

    • Judge Smails permalink
      November 20, 2015 12:01 pm

      Hey Judge! It’s called a blog. (I think)

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