LARAMIE, Wyo. In a foul-laden game, the Colorado State men's basketball team held off host Wyoming in the final minutes for a 78-73 win in the first game of this year's Border War, Jan. 13. With their third straight road victory, the Rams improved to 10-9 and 3-3 in the Mountain West, while the Cowboys fell to 11-7 and 2-3 in the league.
The Rams gave up the first six points of the game to the host Cowboys, but CSU put together a long surge, holding the Cowboys scoreless for an eight-minute span, to build a lead to as many as 15 at 28-13 with 5:11 to go in the first half. However, Wyoming went on a 14-0 run over the next almost five minutes to cut it to a 28-27 lead for the Rams. A pair of free throws for both teams in the closing minute made it a 30-29 lead for the visitors at the halftime break.
CSU scored the first five points of the second half to lead by six at 35-29, but Wyoming came back and tied the game at 40 on a three by Hayden Dalton. Redshirt-junior J.D. Paige hit a free throw and junior Prentiss Nixon scored on a layup to put CSU up for good. It was a tight battle the final 14 minutes of the game, with the Rams stretching it to 11 with 6:36 to play but the hosts cutting it to a 68-66 margin with 2:23 to go. However, Paige canned a huge three and senior Che Bob and Nixon combined down the stretch to make five of six free throw attempts to seal the rivalry victory.
For the game, Colorado State shot 44.1 percent (26-of-59) while limiting Wyoming to just 36.0 percent (18-of-50), including 28.6 percent (6-of-21) from beyond the arc. The Cowboys did go 73.8 percent (31-of-42) at the free throw line, but the Rams were slightly better at 75.9 percent (22-of-29). The Rams won the battle of the boards, 43-33.
CSU was led by Bob's 17 points on 6-of-8 field goals and 4-of-6 free throw shooting. Nixon added 16 points, all in the second half, while Paige was the only other Ram in double figures with 14 points. However, redshirt-sophomores Nico Carvacho and Raquan Mitchell and junior Deion James combined to chip in 25 points and 22 rebounds, with Carvacho grabbing a game-high 13 boards. Wyoming was led by Hayden Dalton's double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds while Alan Herndon also tallied 18 points.
Colorado State comes back home for the next two games, starting with in-state rival Air Force on Wed., Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.