The Colorado State men’s basketball team kicked off their season on Tuesday night with an exhibition game against Regis University, and an exhibition was what it looked like.

The Rams topped the Rangers 75-60.

Point guard Gian Clavell got off to a strong start for the Rams, logging 10 points and 7 rebounds in his first eight minutes and helping CSU to a 12-point lead early on.

“I haven’t played in 10 months,” Clavell said following the Rams win. “I was excited, I was nervous.”

Nerves could have been the reason that a smooth start to the first half turned into a somewhat rocky finish.

The Rangers, sparked by back-to-back three-pointers from sophomore forward Ryan Beisty, battled back from the 12-point deficit to take a one-point lead as CSU went four minutes between baskets.

The Rams bounced back from their dry spell by scoring five unanswered points to go into the half with a five point lead.

Much like the first half, though, the turnovers began to pile up.

The Rams, who had seven turnovers at the half, saw that number climb up to 17 by the end of the game. Cutting down on turnovers is something that Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy believes will work itself out as the season progresses. 

“The turnovers, the quick shots in the first half will take care of itself,” Eustachy said.

After a somewhat slow start to the second half, the Rams turned it on towards the end due largely in part of the role forward Emmanuel Omogbo played for the Rams down the stretch.

As much as the offense ran through Clavell in the first half, it ran through Omogbo in the second half.

Omogbo led all scorers with 16 points, and 14 of those points came in the second half.

Omogbo’s big second half didn’t end at the basket either. Six of his nine rebounds came in the second half as well.

Despite Clavell’s hot start, he didn’t take a shot in the second half. Clavell was the only player to log a double-double, finishing the game with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Eustachy was proud of the way his team handled the Rangers on Tuesday in what was a game that was closer than the score indicated.

“I thought it was 50/50 that we’d beat that team going in tonight,” Eustachy said. “That was not a 15-point game.”

For a team that saw four of its five starters leave following the 2015-2016 season, there are bound to be plenty of surprises this year. Perhaps the biggest surprise on Tuesday night was the performance of sophomore forward Braden Koelliker, who finished the night with 14 points.

“Braden,” Eustachy said when asked what he learned about his team following Tuesday’s win. “Braden played like he was a fifth-year senior.”

Koelliker, who scored nine of his 14 points in the second half, said he felt more comfortable as the game went on.

“When I went on the floor the first time I was nervous a little bit, a little jittery,” Koelliker said. “The second half is always so much better.”

The Rams kick off the regular season with a 2 P.M. game against New Mexico State at Moby Arena on November 13.