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Bombs Away as Rams Rout New Mexico 105-72

January 16, 2020

So as I’m walking into Moby Arena who do I see but ex-CSU and Utah State Head Coach Stew Morril. Of course I say hello and head to my seat.

I intently watch CSU warm up to see how sharp they look. Because the opponent is New Mexico. A big, strong, and talented team sitting at 15-3 and receiving votes I tj he national polls. I figure CSU is going to have to make some three’s to come out with a win. And there CSU is making everything in warmups. My eyes are drawn to both Kendle Moore and Adam Thistlewood, sophomores who are leading the team from beyond the arc. Swish. Swish. Swish.

Of course you never know what’s going to happen when the lights go on.

But the closest the game would be was the opening tip as first Moore, then Thistlewood drained a pair of three-balls and the Rams were off and running. The Lobos were also stroking it but not at the rate that the Rams were. Freshmen Isaiah Stevens and David Roddy continued the hot shooting and Nico Carvacho was proving to be too much for the Lobos inside.

Time for subs and the onslaught continued as Kris Martin and John Tonje scored from beyond the arc and center Dischon Thomas went to work inside. When the starters returned at about the 8:00 mark I turned to my wife and said “CSU is going for the kill shot now”

And they delivered as the hot shooting continued and the defense stayed locked in. The halftime buzzer sounded and the Rams led 56-33.

The Lobos came out for the second half with more energy and tried to cut the lead but CSU was having no part of it as they continued the hot perimeter shooting, the best of which was a Thistlewood bomb from the corner as the shot clock expired. Lobo shoulders slumped, Coach Paul Weir’s head went into his hands, and you could have called the game then.

The lead grew, the bench players came in, the lead continued to grow. The Rams continued to share the basketball, the best of which was a long outlet from Roddy to Stevens who found the streaking Carvacho for the flush. PJ Byrd scored an And-1 to put the Rams at 100 and a short time later found a flying Tonje on the baseline and delivered the alley-oop for a thunderous dunk.

The final buzzer sounded and the Rams had scored their biggest win ever over New Mexico.

They finished with a school record 19 3-point baskets on only 28 attempts. A season high 27 assists on 38 made baskets. A 36-22 rebounding advantage.

All five starters scored in double figures.

And the Rams won their 12th game of the year, matching their total from last year, and moved their MWC record to 3-3 with their third consecutive conference win.

More stuff…

Kendle Moore was absolutely fantastic on both ends of the floor. Nailing threes, flying up and down the court, defending talented Lobo guard JaQuan Lyle. His effort on Lyle was fantastic, forcing him into many of the 8 turnovers he would be charged with.

Adam Thistlewood looked much more comfortable in his second game back since suffering a high ankle sprain vs Tulsa before Christmas. Four out of five from beyond the arc tonight but his best might have been his pull-up jumper from 12′ after a shot fake and a couple of dribbles.

Isaiah Stevens continued his outstanding play in the backcourt with 19 points and 8 assists. And David Roddy did his thing inside and out, ending with 12 and 6. Dischon Thomas had 8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists – a near perfect effort as the big off the bench. And John Tonje had his first double figure game ever with 10 points. A total of 49 points for the Fabu Frosh.

Nico Carvacho delivered his 40-somethingth double-double with 12 and 10. He was a force on both end, grabbing tough rebounds, running the floor, finishing at the rim. But… He did have one horrendous miss. After taking a baseline feed, he had an uncontested dunk and missed. The ball careened high into the air. After the game I congratulated Nico on a missed dunk that got more air than the Flying Tomato Shaun White ever got in the half-pipe. We laughed.

I didnt know at the time but Kris Martin achieved a milestone in the first half, scoring the 1000th point in his career on a corner three-ball.

After the game I told Stew Morril that he needed to come to every game and sit in that same seat. He said something to the effect of “I guess I was good luck.”

Darn right you were Stew!

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