MBB Falls to In-State Rival CSU, 72-69
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -Jason Smith's 15 points and 16 rebounds led the Colorado State Rams past the Colorado Buffaloes 72-69 Saturday night for their first win in Boulder in nearly half a century.
The Rams (7-2), who frittered away most of their 16-point second-half lead, won their sixth straight and prevailed on the road against their biggest rival for the first time since Dec. 2, 1957, snapping a 13-game losing streak in Boulder.
Richard Roby's 20 points led the Buffaloes (3-6), marking his fifth 20-point effort of the season. Roby also had four assists, three blocks and a steal.
Smith's three-point play with 1:28 left in the first half ignited the Rams on a 17-3 run spanning halftime to turn a tie game into a 51-37 lead. The Rams closed the first half on a 9-0 run to take a 43-34 lead into the locker room, and the Buffs scored just one bucket in the first seven minutes of the second half.
Colorado State led 55-39 on Smith's dunk with 11:56 left. But the Rams' runaway didn't pan out as the Buffs went to a fullcourt press, chipped away and pulled to 70-65 on Kal Bay's 3-pointer with 50 seconds left.
Roby's basket after a Smith turnover made it a three-point game with 33 seconds left. Tim Denson sank one of two free throws to make it 71-67 and Roby raced downcourt to make it 71-69 with 22 seconds left.
He fouled Denson with 18 seconds left and Denson again hit one of two, giving the Rams a 72-69 lead.
Roby was long a 3-pointer that would have tied it with 10 seconds left and the Rams got the ball out of bounds. This time, they weren't trapped and go the ball upcourt to dribble out their rare win in Boulder.
Cory Lewis added 13 points for the Rams and Stephan Gilling had 12 on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Jermyl Jackson-Wilson added 10 points for the Buffs.
The Buffs began the game with a 9-0 run as the Rams turned the ball over four times and missed five shots in the first five minutes before finding their range.
"I thought our guys did a great job of fighting the good fight," said head coach Ricardo Patton. "We can build on the last five minutes of the second half defensively. If we can build on that defensive intensity, there will be a lot of good things for these guys. Still our guys are giving up too many shots; we just need to improve defensively both individually and as a team, for the entire game."
Colorado will resume play when they host UC Davis at 1 p.m. on December 23 at the Coors Events Center.