FRESNO, Calif. Colorado State had early shooting woes that proved to be its downfall in a 78-67 Mountain West loss at Fresno State Saturday night. With the loss, the Rams fell to 5-10 and 0-2 in conference action, while the Bulldogs improved to 11-3 and 2-0 in the league.
Early in the game, the Rams were able to overcome their turnovers and only trailed the host Bulldogs 11-10. However, Fresno State went on a 19-2 run over the next 4:34 to take a 30-12 lead the hosts would never give up. CSU cut it briefly with a 10-2 run to close out the opening 20 minutes and went into the halftime break trailing 36-22. The Rams clawed back to get the margin down to single digits four times in the second half, including eight twice in the closing minutes, but could get no closer.
CSU shot just 33.3 percent (9-of-27) in the first half, including missing all 12 of its three-point attempts, and eventually finished at 42.3 percent (22-fo-52) as compared to 45.6 percent (25-of-57), including 12-of-33 from the three-point arc. The Rams also had 11 turnovers in the first half that the Bulldogs turned into 11 points.
Redshirt-junior Anthony Masinton-Bonner recorded a game-high 26 points, while redshirt-junior Nico Carvacho added 23 points and 13 rebounds in the contest, as the duo were the only Rams to score in double figures. Fresno State had four in double figures, led by senior Deshon Taylor with 21 points.
STAT OF THE GAME
During the decisive first-half FS run, the Rams made just one of 14 field goal attempts and also suffered a 5:29 scoring drought.
IN THEIR WORDS
Head Coach Niko Medved
His thoughts on the opening segment of the game
We clearly lost the game in the first 10 minutes. We did a really poor job of handling pressure and handling their press. It's something we worked on for a couple of days, but clearly we didn't have the right mentality. They sped us up on offense. We settled for some quick shots and bad shots. We turned the ball over and didn't play very physical in the paint and we just didn't have a very good mindset on coming out.
• Fresno State now leads the overall series 18-17, having won 13 of the 15 meetings in Fresno.
• The Bulldogs have taken six of the last seven meetings
• The 22 points in the first half were the fewest CSU has scored this season in either half.
• Masinton-Bonner posted a new career high, surpassing his previous scoring best of 22 accomplished twice in his CSU career, including against Colorado Christian early this season.
• With his 10th double-double of the year, Carvacho now has 23 for his career and moves ahead of Jason Smith (2005-07) into sole possession of second on the CSU career double-doubles chart. Emmanuel Omogbo (2015-17) leads with 28.
• Carvacho scored in double figures for the eighth straight game and 12th time this season
• Masinton-Bonner and Carvacho combined to shoot 17-of-25 from the floor while the rest of the team struggled and was just 5-of-27.
• CSU has now lost five straight and nine of last 10.
• The Rams will return to Moby Arena for its Mountain West home opener, hosting in-state rival Air Force on Tue., Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. MT.
• The contest between will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet, with Drew Goodman on play-by-play, Sed Bonner the analyst and Taylor McGregor on the sidelines.
• The game will air across the Colorado State Sports Network (along with online at CSURams.com), with Brian Roth and Adam Nigon on the call.
• CSU Sports Network broadcasts can be also accessed on mobile devices through the TuneIn app (free on all Apple, Android, Windows, Blackberry and Amazon Kindle devices) – once downloaded, search "Colorado St. Rams Sports Network" in the app for the games and coaches' show broadcasts.