College Basketball: Colorado State Sweeps UNLV
The CSU Rams continue their strong start to the season.
Contact/Follow @J0shFr3d & @MWCwire
Rams win two close ones over UNLV
Game One: Colorado State 74, UNLV 71
Colorado State found itself down by double digits for the third straight game. Against UNLV they were down 13 points with 08:52 left in the game. The Rams managed to work their way out of a jam once again thanks to inspired play from Isaiah Stevens, Kendle Moore, and David Roddy. Stevens and Moore were able to get CSU back in the game and Roddy was able to finish the Rebels off.
Now that may be the quickest 5 points you've ever seen scored. @CSUMBasketball hits the acrobatic lay in then forces the steal and drains a three to draw within one 😳 pic.twitter.com/4l6TbVt0Ew
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) January 8, 2021
The Rebels were playing their first game in over a month thanks to cancellations and their own COVID problems. UNLV showed that they shouldn’t be counted out in this conference. Bryce Hamilton showed his talent as one of, if not the, best players in this conference. Hamilton finished with 23 points.
The Rebels had a good defensive strategy to start the game against David Roddy. Edoardo Del Cadia got the start for the Rebels and was able to body Roddy a little but and threw him off of his game for the first half. Cheikh Mbacke Diong was also giving the Rams fits as his interior defense and rebounding skills forced the Rams to make changes on the fly.
Game Two: Colorado State 83, UNLV 80
Colorado State was the team to go out in front early this time. It wasn’t much but the Rams were up 21-13 at one point in the first half and the game then turned into a shot for shot contest. Both CSU and UNLV finished the game shooting above 50% from the field. Isaiah Stevens continued to show why he was the Mountain West Freshman of the Year last season as he led the Rams with 22 points, eight assists, and six rebounds and hit the game winning shot for CSU.
John Tonje got the start in place of David Roddy due to an internal team matter and showed he can play a big part for this team as he finished with 15 points. Roddy came off the bench to be the Rams second leading scorer with 18 points. He also chipped in six assists and five rebounds.
🎯 @IsaiahStevens7 drains the go-ahead triple for @CSUMBasketball with 30sec to go!! pic.twitter.com/UcIwuchCoX
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) January 9, 2021
UNLV will come away disappointed but with a base they can build from. The Rebels had a chance to win both games, but just couldn’t finish it out. Bryce Hamilton was once again outstanding as he finished with 28 points. And when the Rams focused on him, David Jenkins Jr was there to help out. Jenkins finished the day as the Rebels leading scorer with 29 points.
Colorado State continued their best start to a season in Mountain West history. They played two games in different fashions. Game one was a come from behind effort, while game two was a shot for shot battle. One thing the Rams will need to work on is rebounding, as they were outrebounded by 10 both games against UNLV. The Rams are a strong contender so far and there effort against some of the top teams in this conference prove that you can’t count them out.
The Rebels are a victim of circumstance here. Picked to finish fourth in the conference, they have now only played seven games. Even after a month off and just getting back to practice in the past week they showed why they were picked as high as they were. Bryce Hamilton will singled handedly win this UNLV team some games this season.
Next up for the Rams is the start of four game road trip. They head out to face the San Jose State Spartans on Thursday the 14th and Saturday the 16th. Next up for the Rebels is a tune up game against St. Katherine, followed by a home series against the New Mexico Lobos on the 16th and 18th.