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Colorado State 78 – Wyoming 76

March 1, 2017



Omnia vincit amor et nos cedamus amori 

For you out there that never had to take Latin or read Virgil, here’s how that translates:

Love conquers all; let us all yield to love!

Sure every college basketball game has winners and losers on the scoreboard. But sometimes what happens on that 94′ by 50′ hardwood transcends the simple notion that one team finished ahead of another on the scoreboard. 

This game was different. It was a match-up between long time bitter rivals separated by an imaginary line known as a state border.  It was one team trying to gain revenge after losing at home to their rival just two weeks ago.  It was another team trying to continue their improbable run toward a regular season conference crown.  And to top it all off, it was Senior Night, when the local fans would say good-bye to their departing players.

The facts are this:

Colorado State jumped out to a 14-2 lead and could do no wrong.  Wyoming reeled them in with their potent offense which featured the perimeter shooting of Hayden Dalton.  CSU extended their lead back to double digits with 10 minutes remaining.  Once again Wyoming reeled them in, taking their first lead of the game in the final 4 minutes. Back and forth they went with makes and messes until the Rams led 75-73 with less than 30 seconds remaining.

Wyoming created something for their talented sophomore Justin James who had been nearly unstoppable for the entire second half.  James elevated and shot a high-arcing jumper from beyond the arc that was so pure it almost wne through the rim without touching the net. It gave him 24 points, 18 of which had come in the second half.

CSU was without star guard Gian Clavell whom James had fouled out a few minutes earlier.  The ball came to sophomore guard Prentiss Nixon who calmly brough the ball upcourt.  He was defended closely by Wyoming’s Jeremy Lieberman. Lieberman poked and Nixon had to brush him off several times before rising to take the final shot.

And there the ball was suspended in the air.

Just three days prior, CSU’s Emmanuel Omogbo had delivered a game-winning three-ball in the final seconds against San Diego State.

Could it happen again?

And then there was the ball, pure as snow,  falling cleanly through the net to propel the Rams into the lead.

And when James’ final midcourt attempt fell harmlessly to the ground after pressure from the Rams’ Nixon and JD Paige, the horn sounded and the Rams were scoreboard winners.

But 7886 people, many of whom rushed the floor to celebrate, knew it was more than that.

It was about the love between seven extraordinary young men, the truly Magnficent Seven. It was about their love for their embattled coach. It was about the love between the players and their families in attendance for Senior Night. And it was about their love for their supporters in the stands.  

Omnia vincit amor et nos cedamus amori


Final thoughts…

Gian Clavell did not have his best game statistically.  It didnt matter. There he was giving his all, displaying his passion and energy all night.  I’ve been giving him a little crap about his brother Gilberto holding the Clavell family single-game scoring record in Moby Arena.  Way back in 2010, Gilberto had scored 29 points in Moby when when he led his Sam Houston State squad to a road victory.  Gian had never done that in Moby but he sure was going to try on Senior Night.  I wanted to get a picture of the two of them together after the game.  I had to wait because Gian made sure to go over and give Wyomings Justin James, who had returned to the floor for a post-game interview, a hug .  And then it was time for the picture. When I told Gian that Gilberto was holding up the single finger signifying who was the number one Clavell in Moby, Gian responded “Ask him about his career high.” When I asked what it was he said “It was 35. Mine is 37.”  

 I love it!


The Rams’ Emmanuel Omogbo broke the all-time single season MWC record for double-doubles in conference games as he went for 13 and 12.  The previous record was shared by SDSU’s Kawhi Leonard and Boise State’s Ryan Watkins.  Numbers cannot begin to explain the extraordinary season he has had.  It was simply one of the finest individual seasons I have ever seen by a Ram in the many years I’ve held season tickets.

One final thought

Bonner, Carvacho, Clavell, Koelliker, Nixon, Omogbo, Paige

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