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Colorado State gave up a 10-0 run to Air Force to end the first half and the Falcons made it hold, earning the 78-73 victory over the Rams at Clune Arena, Feb. 6. With their seventh consecutive loss, the Rams fell to 10-16 and 3-10 in Mountain West action, while the Falcons improved to 9-13 and 3-7 in league play.
The game was back-and-forth in the first half. With the game tied at 27 at the final media timeout of the opening 20 minutes, Air Force came out and shut down the Rams’ offense for the remainder and closed with 10 unanswered points to take a 37-27 lead into the break.
CSU scored the opening bucket of the second half to cut it to eight and had it down to as few as six at 47-41 with 16:02 to play. However back-to-back threes by Lavelle Scottie and Ryan Swan pushed the lead back to double digits, growing to 17 at one point. The Rams slowly chipped away through the final eight minutes but could not get the deficit below five the remainder of the game.
Colorado State shot 47.6 percent (30-of-63) from the floor but just 28.6 percent (6-of-21) from beyond the three-point line. Air Force was 45.6 percent (26-of-57) on field goal attempts but an even-better 46.2 percent (12-of-26) from the arc. The Falcons converted 14-of-20 free throw attempts as compared to just 7-of-8 for the Rams. Air Force held a 35-33 advantage on the boards, but converted their 10 offensive boards into 18 points.
Redshirt-sophomore Nico Carvacho had the double-double with a career-best 16 points and 12 rebounds. Senior forward Che Bob also had 16 points, while junior forward Deion James had 14 and redshirt-sophomore guard Raquan Mitchell chipped in 10. Air Force was led by Sid Tomes with a career-high 18 points on six three-pointers. Swan also had 18 points, while Scottie added 17.
The Rams have dropped seven straight MW games for the first time since 2007-08 when they went 0-16. The last time that Air Force won back-to-back games over CSU was in 2008, sweeping the season series as the final part of an eight-game Air force winning streak in the series. Carvacho’s double-double was the eighth of the season (10th of career) for the center and his 10th consecutive game with 10 or more rebounds. Mitchell’s nine rebounds were a season high. Carvacho’s 38 minutes played were a career high.
Colorado State is back home to host San Jose State at Moby Arena, Sat., Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. The contest between the Rams and Spartans will be televised on the Mountain West Network. The game will air across the Colorado State Sports Network (along with online at CSURams.com), with Brian Roth and Adam Nigon on the call.