Colorado State basketball delivers bounce-back performance in win over Utah State – The Denver Post

FORT COLLINS — No need to hit the panic button on Colorado State men’s basketball.

These Rams are alright.

CSU earned a resilient 77-72 victory over Utah State on Wednesday night at Moby Arena in a bounce-back performance after suffering its first loss of the season. The Rams (12-1, 2-1 MWC) now hit the road on Saturday against San Jose State.

“What fight from our guys,” coach Niko Medved said. “We never flinched when they came back. That’s the way these games go in conference play. You’ve just got to find a way to earn the victory.”

On Thursday, the CSU star combination of point guard Isaiah Stevens and forward David Roddy combined for 46 points and six assists. The Rams went up by 10 in the second half.

But Utah State nearly completed a comeback when it pulled ahead, 62-60, on forward Justin Bean’s fadeaway with 4:37 left in regulation. Roddy responded on the next possession with a triple to regain the CSU lead. The final 35 seconds got tense when the Aggies pulled back within one. Then clutch free throws from reserve guard Chandler Jacobs and Stevens iced the CSU victory.

“It’s just the veteran nature of our team,” Roddy said. “We’ve been in that position many times.

“They went on a run and then we decided to go on a run ourselves. It’s just the flow of basketball and I’m proud of my team for sticking with it.”

The Rams were rusty to begin the night with an almost six-minute scoring drought and five turnovers in the first half. CSU lacked cohesion. That’s no surprise when you consider its recent schedule.

The Rams had four of their previous six games either postponed or canceled due to COVID-19 protocols. Getting back to a playing rhythm, especially in a 30-point drubbing over the weekend at San Diego State, has been challenging. The loss knocked CSU out of the AP Top 25.

“We don’t make that excuse. We’re a good team with good players,” Jacobs said. “We work hard. We’re going to get in shape. We’re going to be fine. The confidence booster is that we know we haven’t hit our stride.”

The Rams’ fortunes changed in a hurry Wednesday night in front of a rowdy home crowd of 4,578 fans.

CSU lit the match with 10:58 left in the first half when freshman guard Jalen Lake buried a 3-pointer. Stevens dazzled with several tough finishes in the paint and a buzzer-beating triple. The Rams went on a 14-1 run for an eventual nine-point lead at halftime. Lake proved valuable with 11 total points off the bench.

“He’s still learning, but he gave us awesome minutes tonight,” Roddy said. “I’m super proud of him.”

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