FORT COLLINS – Less than three weeks after notching his 500th career win, Larry Eustachy made history again Wednesday as he became the fourth-ever Colorado State coach to reach 100 wins with the Rams. Eustachy accomplished the feat with his team’s 81-72 victory over visiting San Jose State at Moby Arena.
“I had a lot more fulfillment watching this team fend off San Jose State,” Eustachy said of the milestone. “I just saw a lot of growth in this team throughout the game.”
The Rams (13-8, 5-3) got off to a quick start, making their first four shots. However, the green and gold looked sluggish at the offensive end. CSU turned the ball over four times in the opening six minutes.
When they handled the ball, though, Eustachy’s crew got some easy baskets. A pair of those came when Emmanuel Omogbo drove to the basket and finished with a layup. The senior forward tallied his 11th double-double of the season, winding up with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
CSU got a scare late in the first half when Braden Koelliker, one of just three available bench players, headed to the bench following a hard fall. Eustachy had to get even more creative when J.D. Paige picked up his second foul. With eight players for the remainder of the season, it’s something the head coach will be forced to manage.
San Jose State’s largest lead of three points was short-lived as the Rams ended the first half on a 9-2 run. CSU took a 33-29 lead into the locker room. Stingy defensive play held SJ’s Brandon Clarke, who entered the game averaging nearly 19 points, to just four points in the first 20 minutes.
Gian Clavell extended the team’s lead in the second half. The guard from Puerto Rico got hot in a hurry, scoring 17 of his 24 points after the break.
Clavell wasn’t the only one to find his scoring touch. Prentiss Nixon, who was held scoreless in the first half, ended up with 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“We grew a lot over a 40-minute period. We were very concerned about this game. With San Diego State, you can look ahead and I thought our team did a great job of not and understand who they were playing.” – Eustachy
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Clavell – He went 10-of-19 from the field en route to a game-high 24 points. Clavell, along with fellow senior Omogbo, finished with a double-double. Both Clavell and Nixon logged 40 minutes each.
BY THE NUMBERS
42 – Total rebounds for the Rams, compared to just 29 for the Spartans. CSU overwhelmed their opponent on the glass once again Wednesday night
5 – The number of Rams in double figures. Paige and Nico Carvacho added 10 points to the scoring efforts of Omogbo, Nixon and Clavell
26 – Bench points for the Spartans, compared to eight for the Rams reserves.
CSU heads back on the road for a Saturday afternoon matchup with San Diego State. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.