GAME NOTES: Colorado State gets back the hardwood after a week off, as the Rams entertain the New Mexico Lobos in Mountain West Conference action at Moby Arena.
The Rams have been watching from the sidelines since they dismissed Air Force a week ago at home in a 74-68 final. The victory was the third in four games for a CSU squad that is 11-3 at home this season and an even 3-3 in league play.
Meanwhile, the Lobos moved to 5-1 in conference and remained in second place in the standings behind nationally-ranked San Diego State, thanks to an 84-75 win over Boise State four nights ago in The Pit. Sporting an overall record of 14-4, perhaps the most surprising part for UNM is that the team is 4-1 on the road in 2013-14.
The Lobos lead the all-time series by a count of 72-43, although Colorado State maintains a 30-22 edge in games played in Fort Collins over the years. Last season, the meeting at Moby Arena went in favor of UNM by a score of 91-82.
Four starters scored in double figures for the Lobos during their win over Boise State in Albuquerque on Tuesday night, led by Hugh Greenwood who knocked down all but one of his six 3-pointers to arrive at 20 points. Kendall Williams came up an assist shy of a double-double as he tallied 18 points, followed by Cameron Bairstow and Alex Kirk with 17 and 15 points, respectively, the duo also combining for seven blocked shots as the unit held the Broncos to only 37.5 percent shooting from the field.
In conference play, Bairstow leads the offensive attack with his 20.8 ppg, shooting an even 60 percent from the field. Playing close to the rim obviously, Bairstow is also second on the unit with 6.7 rpg, trailing only Kirk (11.7 ppg) who is tops with 7.7 rpg, to go along with his 19 rejections. Williams (16.2 ppg) has had his issues finding his shot from time to time, hitting on just 34.2 percent from the floor, but it is crucial that he be on the floor both for his points and his assists (37).
Against Air Force, the Rams were behind by five points with just over five minutes remaining in regulation and somehow turned the game around and brought home the six-point victory. Much of the credit needs to go to Daniel Bejarano who finished with a career-high 27 points as he knocked down five of his 10 attempts behind the 3-point line. J.J. Avila and Joe De Ciman pitched in with 21 and 11 points, respectively, as the team survived a mere 5-of-19 effort out on the perimeter.
Bejarano, who also pulled down nine rebounds in the win over Air Force, currently leads the Rams in scoring during conference bouts with his 21.3 ppg, although his 39.2 percent accuracy from the floor is still a bit sketchy. Bejarano's 7.8 rpg in those outings is second only to Avila (17.5 ppg) who is hitting the glass to the tune of 9.5 rpg. Between the pair they account for almost half the squad's 36.0 rpg and 66.7 ppg, not to mention having handed out 33 of their 63 assists as well.
Clearly Bejarano and Avila have developed into two of the better players in the league, but beyond that the Rams have a bit of a void in many skill areas, which leaves room for a team like UNM to come in and grab a win today.
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