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Head Coach Larry Eustachy earned his 500th career victory in emphatic fashion as the Colorado State Rams beat the Air Force Falcons 85-58 Saturday afternoon in Moby Arena. The win improves the Rams to 11-6 on the year and 3-1 in Mountain West play, while the Falcons fell to 8-8 overall and 1-2 in the conference.
“It’s special with the adversity we are facing right now,” Eustachy said. “We played the seven guys we’re going to have. We had a plan. We had to beat San Jose State and wanted to win this 500th game here, and give the ball to Emmanuel (Omogbo). Because in one phone call, Emmanuel’s innocence was taken away. He went from the baby to the man of the family and that’s really the story here. From that time to this time, the way that man has grown is incredible. This is more about Emmanuel than about myself.”
The Rams opened the game on a 8-0 run and led for all but 2:51 of the in-state matchup, never trailing by more than four points. After taking a 33-28 lead into the break, Colorado State came out of the locker room on fire, shooting 63 percent (17-of-27) from the floor and an obscene 56.3 percent (9-of-16) from the three-point line in the second half, opening up a lead that that reached as high as 34 points. The Rams’ 52 second-half points falls just two points short of their season best in that category.
Colorado State shot an even 50 percent (30-of-60) for the game, and 43.8 percent (14-of-32) from deep. The 14-made three pointers nearly doubles its previous season-best of eight, and their 19 total assists, led by senior forward Emmanuel Omogbo’s career-best five, marks a new season high as well.
“It felt good just because of everything that has been going on,” Omobgo said postgame. “It feels really good for him to get his 500th win. We did it as a team. We came in and got the job done. We got stops on defense, and Gian hit some great shots. We were able to pull away.”
Air Force shot 41.7 percent (20-of-48) for the game from the floor but were limited to just 36.4 percent (8-of-22) in the second half. CSU won the battle of the boards, 31-29, but made more of its opportunities, outscoring the visitors 13-6 on second-chance points.
Senior guard Gian Clavell led all scorers with 28 points, and Omogbo recorded his Mountain West-leading eighth double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Prentiss Nixon and freshman guard Anthony Bonner rounded out the Rams’ double-digit scorers with 20 and 11 points, respectively. Senior forward Frank Toohey led the Falcons with 14 points.