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Colorado State's MW Tournament comes to an end with 56-43 loss to SDSU

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March 14, 2015

csu-sdsu BSN Denver

Late Friday night it was finally time for basketball. The Colorado State men’s basketball team faced the San Diego State Aztecs, and without senior forward J.J. Avila, the Rams were underdogs.

SDSU played like a championship team from the first tip, taking a quick 7-3 lead to start. But the Rams fought stalwartly and put together an 8-0 run of their own, powered by back-to-back lay-ins by Tiel Daniels down low to take the 11-7 advantage. The Aztecs then turned it on themselves to the tune of an 11-0 run as CSU struggled to find open shots and weren’t sharing the ball enough. Their unselfish play pushed them to a school-record 27 wins, not hot-dogging. Still, despite all the trouble offensively, Colorado State trailed only 18-24 at the break.

“We’re trying to get our own shot instead of getting a teammate a shot,” head coach Larry Eustachy said at halftime. He was right.

In the second half, San Diego State kept it going. Aqeel Quinn hit a three in transition and a few possessions later, his spectacular bucket through a defender as the shot clock ran out was a microcosm of the game. Everything was working for the Aztecs, nothing was coming easy for CSU. SDSU pushed their lead to 12 on the make. Then J.J. O’Brien got involved, scoring with ease on the inside, again ballooning that lead to 12 with 10:58 to play.

Colorado State wouldn’t just roll over and die, though. Tiel Daniels’ dunk with 7:18 left in the contest brought it to a seven-point game. Unfortunately for Rams fans, that’s as close as it would get, as the Aztecs were too strong down the stretch. SDSU held on to win 56-43

J.J. Avila was ruled out of the game before it even tipped off after spraining his ankle badly in the win over Fresno State on Thursday night. For Colorado State, missing Avila, their best scorer and passer, was a big blow against a truly talented San Diego State team. It showed all night long.

Colorado State was out-scored, out-shot (42-30 percent) and out-rebounded (35-31) in the game. It was a dominant win and leaves the Rams’ NCAA Tournament standing in a question just a bit. Still, at 27-6, CSU should be dancing this time next week and if Avila can return, it will certainly boost their chances.

In the loss Friday night, Stanton Kidd led the Rams with 10 while Winston Shepard and Quinn each scored 16. Daniel Bejarano was off for CSU, going 4-13 in the game and the Rams using only seven players showed up in their fatigue on the floor.

Now CSU awaits the selection committee to see if they made the NCAA Tournament. The selection show takes place on Sunday night.


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