The Colorado State men’s basketball team missed a great opportunity to take a step forward on Tuesday night.

Following a last-second win at San Diego State on Saturday, the under-manned Rams returned to Moby Arena for a key matchup against the Boise State Broncos. The Broncos, who entered Thursday night’s tied with the Rams for second place in the Mountain West, jumped out to a 19-point first half lead and really never looked back, defeating the Rams 79-76.

From the outside, it would make sense that a Boise State team that went 10-deep defeated a Colorado State team that used seven of their eight players and had two foul out.

If not for a few mistakes early in the game, the already hot Rams might’ve walked out of Moby on Tuesday night winners of four-straight and with their eyes set on Nevada and the top spot in the Mountain West.

“We’ve handled adversity great,” Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy said following the loss on Tuesday. “We haven’t handled success, which is new to a lot of these guys.”

Colorado State has been no stranger to adversity this season. Whether it has stemmed from the legal issues surrounding point guard Gian Clavell earlier this season, losing three key players to academic ineligibility, or dealing with the national attention that came with an argument with a University of New Mexico assistant coach following a game earlier in the month, the Rams have managed to keep their season headed in the right direction on the court.

Despite all of the outside noise, Eustachy said the objective on the court remains the same.

“I’ve raised expectations for this team,” Eustachy said. “Some say, ‘just get through the season,’ well we’re not going to just get through the season. We plan on making a run at this thing.”

On the heels of a big win at San Diego State just a few days earlier, Tuesday night’s game was a chance for the Rams to keep the train rolling. The effort was there, but the results weren’t.

“It’s a let down,” sophomore guard J.D. Paige said following the game. “We just got to come in tomorrow, watch film, practice and go from there.”

“We just got comfortable,” Sophomore guard Prentiss Nixon said. “We got comfortable before the game. They came out early and punched us in the mouth.”

The Rams have hit the home stretch. Of the eight games remaining, they will play four at home. There is no more time to be comfortable. If the Rams are serious about making some noise down the stretch, Eustachy believes that he had the guys to do it.

“We have the horses if we play the right way,” Eustachy said. “And you have the right jockey to show you guys how to do it. But you’re going to have to listen, and you’re going to have to really bring it.”

The Rams’ next opportunity to get back in the win column comes on Saturday when they’ll head to Las Vegas to take on UNLV. Tipoff is at 4 p.m.