Rams knock off Fresno State, 74-65

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. Colorado State grabbed the lead early in the game from visiting Fresno State and withstood a late rally from the second-place team in the Mountain West to earn a 74-65 victory Saturday afternoon in Moby Arena. With the win, the Rams improved to 8-12 on the season and 3-4 in MW play, while the Bulldogs fell to 14-5 and 5-2 in league action.

Fresno State opened the contest on a 6-0 run on back-to-back three pointers, but the Rams responded with a 12-0 run of their own to take a lead they would never relinquish. Freshman guard Kendle Moore and redshirt-senior J.D. Paige got things going early by connecting on four of their next six shots from beyond the arc, combining for 20 of the Rams' first 21 points. CSU led by as many as seven in the opening period but an 11-7 Bulldog run cut the CSU lead down to three at the break, 33-30.

Stellar defense and team play set the tone in the second half, where the Rams held the Bulldogs scoreless through the first five minutes of the second stanza, allowing the CSU to gain control of the game with a 46-30 lead. Redshirt-Junior Nico Carvacho kept the momentum in the Rams favor slamming home a fast break opportunity to make it 60-45 with 8:40 left. The Bulldogs wouldn't go away, battling back with a 15-5 surge that made it 65-60 CSU with just under three minutes to play. However, the Rams salted it away with solid foul shooting in the final two minutes, combining to make their last seven attempts from the charity stripe.

On the game, CSU outshot Fresno State by almost 10 percent, as the Rams were 45.1 percent (23-of-51) from the floor, including 10-of-20 from the three-point arc, while the Bulldogs were just 35.9 percent (23-of-64) from the floor and just 8-of-30 from beyond the three-point line. Colorado State also held the slight advantage in the battle of the boards, outrebounding the Bulldogs 40-39.

Led by Paige's 17 points, the Rams had four players score in double figures with Moore adding 16, Edwards tallying 12 and redshirt-junior Kris Martin totaling 11. Carvacho led the team in rebounding with 14, while Martin added five assists and four steals. Fresno State was led by Deshon Taylor with 24 points.

The Rams got out and ran the floor effectively, outscoring the Bulldogs 20-4 in fast-break points.

The Rams will play their second straight home game when they host Boise State, Tue., Jan. 29 at 2 p.m.