GAME NOTES: Sporting a near-perfect record at home, the Colorado State Rams aim to end the regular season on a high note as they host the Nevada Wolf Pack in Mountain West Conference play at Moby Arena in Fort Collins on Saturday.
Colorado State has posted 15 wins in 16 opportunities at home this season, the lone setback coming against nationally-ranked New Mexico a few weeks back in a 91-82 final. More recently the team was on the road and captured a 78-56 triumph over Wyoming during another installment of their Border War on Wednesday night. The victory, the 23rd of the season which tied the school's all-time, single-season record, was the second in the last three games for a squad that is currently tied with UNLV for second place in the standings at 10-5.
As for the Wolf Pack, even though this is their first year in the MWC after coming over from the Western Athletic Conference, the results have still been under-whelming with a mere three league victories. All alone in last place in the MWC standings, Nevada is coming off a 75-62 setback versus the Lobos three nights ago, the team's sixth loss in a row and the ninth in 10 tries.
The Pack leads the all-time series by a count of 6-5, although CSU won the first meeting of the season on the road in Reno, 73-69.
Nevada gave it a good run against the Lobos earlier this week, battling in a game that featured eight ties and 12 lead changes. Malik Story was the high man for the Pack with 25 points, shooting 6-of-11 from 3-point range, but he was the only one in double figures for the program. Once again, Deonte Burton made a minimal impact with eight points and eight assists, shooting just 3- of-10 from the floor.
The most experienced players on the roster, Story and Burton have both appeared in and started 96 games for the Pack in their careers and are also scoring more than their career averages at the moment. However, as well as Story (16.7 ppg) and Burton (15.6 ppg) might be able to produce, they don't seem to be able to both score big in the same game anymore, and that is hurting the team's chances of getting into the win column.
Against a slumping Wyoming squad, the Rams made it look easy on Wednesday as they shot an impressive 61.5 percent from the floor and turned the ball over just eight times. Colton Iverson was a perfect 12-of-12 from the floor as he finished with career-high 29 points and eight boards, followed by Dorian Green and Greg Smith with 18 and 12 points, respectively. Pierce Hornung added a game-high 10 rebounds, but only three points on 1-of-4 from the floor.
Even though CSU is one of the best rebounding teams in the country, it is still hard to comprehend how any team could come up with just 11 total rebounds in a single game, the number put up by Wyoming. Through 30 games, the Rams are beating opponents on the glass by an average of more than 12 per contest, but still the way they handled Wyoming was masterful. Iverson, who is shooting 59.2 percent from the field, which is better than his 59.1 percent at the free-throw line, leads the way with 14.4 ppg and 9.7 rpg.
The manner in which Colorado State is just destroying opponents on the glass is ridiculous, but that's how the Rams figure they'll take care of Nevada in this regular-season finale.
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