In the first game of the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Colorado State downed Boston College 86-74.

The Rams came out of the gate on fire, taking as much as a 14-point lead in the first half. But BC fought back, and CSU led 47-38 at halftime.

Due to foul trouble for multiple Rams players, though, the Eagles were able to go on an 8-3 run early in the second half to make it a four-point game. That’s when Nique Clifford, with three fouls, came back in and hit a 3-pointer immediately.

A few plays later, there was some frenzied play, in which both teams turned it over. After a steal by Clifford, Joel Scott finally dunked it home to make it 67-61 Rams with 8 minutes to go.

Hot shooting by Isaiah Stevens and Josiah Strong down the stretch helped the Rams hold onto the near wire-to-wire win.

Stevens led all Rams with 18 points and added 8 assists while CSU won the assist battle 21-12. Clifford was second in scoring with 16 on a hot 7-9 shooting, and the Rams enjoyed five players in double figures. And while Boston College came into the game the much better rebounding team (42-31 per game), Colorado State out-boarded the Eagles 30-24 on Wednesday afternoon.

No. 8 Creighton and Loyola Chicago play this afternoon in Hall of Fame Classic

The Rams will play the winner of No. 8 Creighton (4-0) and Loyola Chicago (2-2). That game tips off at 2 p.m. MT on Wednesday. Creighton is an 18.5-point favorite and will likely win.

Those Bluejays are the 14th-best scoring team in the country, at 92.0 per game, and they’re the No. 1 team in the nation shooting inside the arc (70.3%).

Junior guard Trey Alexander leads Creighton in both points (21) and rebounds (7.3) per game, and fellow guard Baylor Scheierman isn’t far behind (18, 6). The Bluejays live on the 3-point line, making a nation-leading 13.5 from downtown per game at a 40.0% clip.

They also rebound the ball extremely well, at 43.2 per game (31st).

If Colorado State does play Creighton, the Rams will need to play much like they did today, and have all season long, to have a chance.

They enjoyed 21 team assists, and that unselfish play leads to lots of open and easy baskets. The green and gold made a superb 56.5% of shots from the floor today, and 42.9% from downtown. On top of that, the Rams will need to bring toughness on the boards again, just like we saw against BC.

If Creighton wins, the Rams (5-0) will face them at 2 p.m. MT on Thanksgiving. That game can be seen on CBS Sports Network.