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Colorado State 84 – Fort Lewis 75

November 17, 2016

A little over midway through the first half the Rams trailed the Division 2 visitors from Durango 22-13.

My wife turned to me and said “This is embarrassing”.

She doesnt understand the subtleties of a screen and roll, defending a ball screen, boxing out.  She understands effort and individual skills like shooting.

And boy she was right.  The Rams were shooting about 25%, allowing Fort Lewis open looks as they were getitng beat down the floor, getting out-toughed on the boards by a smaller team.

Repeated pleas from the bench to get the ball inside went unheard.  The Rams were settling for perimeter jumpers and many were not close to going in.  The smallish crowd was relatively quiet and I swear I heard a rim cry in pain more than once.

A Che Bob three-ball gave the Rams their first lead of the game at 30-29 but Fort Lewis countered with an uncontested layup at the buzzer to head to the locker room with a lead.  The visitors deserved at least that much if not more.  CSU’s shooting percentage was 31% and they lost the battle on the boards 25-23.

Ram fans were hoping to see a second half performance much like they had in the previous game vs New Mexico State when the Rams has turned the game around with toughness and energy.  They got their wish but it wasnt through the same effort for 20 minutes as early on CSU played some ole defense allowing the visitors to score easy baseline layups.

Offensively, they found success inside with Emmanuel Omogbo and Kimani Jackson. Then Che Bob happened.

Bob is a 6’6″ 220 lb player in his first year at CSU after playing at South Plains JC.  He is a physical specimen (Hey Coach Bobo, you might want to take a look) with speed, strength, and solid finishing skills at the rim.  A flurry of Bob steals, rebounds, layups, and free throws pushed the Ram lead to 9 midway thru the half but you knew it wouldnt be that easy down the stretch.

Fort Lewis cut the lead to 4 as the game approached the final minute and Larry Eustachy took a timeout.  After a few passes the Rams got the ball to Omogbo in his sweet spot at the elbow, he slashed his way to the rim for a layup and the Rams were nearly home free.  A few defensive possessions later and they had scored their win.

Omogbo finished the game with 20 points and 15 rebounds in a dominating performance. More importantly, he defended Fort Lewis big Riley Farris out of the game after Farris had repeatedly torched both Jackson and Nico Carvacho both inside and out.  Bob finished with 20 and 7 in only 23 minutes.

When I was a kid growing up, there used to be a show on ABC on Saturday afternoon called “Wide World of Sports”.  Hosted by the great Jim McKay, they traveled the globe to show all kinds of stuff.  Once a year, they traveled to Islip Speedway on Long Island to show Demolition Derby.  An event where cars smash into each other until only one car is still able to move and is declared the winner.  As cool as it was to watch great international events, I could not wait until I got my annual fix of Demolition Derby.

The good news is that the 2016-17 Rams’ team is returning me to my youth. The bad news is that I’m not sure I want to watch Demolition Derby twice a week for the next four months.  I need a trip to the art museum or the symphony too.

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