Colorado State (2-0) dominated Southern Methodist University (1-1) 75-56 Monday night in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
The Rams controlled the game from the first jump ball, and jumped out to an early 17-8 lead that was expanded to 51-29 at halftime. In the first half, CSU out-scored SMU 18-8 in the paint, while scoring 10 points off of Mustang turnovers. After the break, much remained the same for the Rams as they ran up 75 points on hot shooting from the floor (52 percent) and from downtown (52.9 percent).
CSU point guard Dorian Green led the offensive attack, scoring 19 points on 5-8 shooting, including hitting four bombs from behind the arc. Green filled up the stat line too, grabbing six rebounds while dishing out five assists.
Shooting guard Wes Eikmeier was right behind him with 18 points, knocking down four three-pointers of his own. Senior Will Bell and junior Greg Smith added 10 points each as well as the Rams hit on all cylinders tonight in Palo Alto, California.
Head coach Tim Miles was proud of his offense saying, “We had a nice rhythm and flow to our offense tonight.”
Not only did the Rams score well though, they also ruled the rebounds 32-19 and held the Mustangs to a mere 38.1 percent shooting from the field.
“We defended well,” added Miles. “We were well prepared. Our guys had consistent effort and we rebounded well. We were mentally sharp all night.”
Colorado State will have to be sharp in all areas Tuesday night, as they face host and No. 3 seed Stanford at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, California.
After the Rams dispensed the Mustangs 75-56, Stanford blew out Fresno State 75-59, meaning Tuesday night’s Western Regional Final could be a high-paced shootout.
The winner of Tuesday night’s game goes on to play in Madison Square Garden November 23 in the semifinals, and the finals will be held November 25 in New york City.
CSU has a chance to make some noise nationally by continuing to play well in the NIT Season Tip-Off and they can build confidence for the long season that still lies ahead.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being your CSU Rams Examiner, Kurtzman writes for Blake Street Bulletin, Stadium Journey, Bleacher Report, and Mile High Hoops.
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