Colorado State men’s basketball nearly collapsed in the second half.

After leading for the entire contest, the Rams couldn’t score from the floor and Fresno State went on an incredible 17-2 run over nearly 6 minutes of action late in the second half.

But that’s when it became “Zay time.”

First, Isaiah Hill of Fresno State was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer. He hit all three free throws and pushed the Bulldogs ahead by three, 65-62 with 1:46 to play. After the teams traded possessions, Isaiah Stevens took over.

The Rams star point guard drove the lane and scored while leaning into a Bulldogs defender to draw the foul, and-one. Stevens then knocked down the free throw to tie the game up at 65-65 with 56.9 seconds to play.

The Bulldogs had a chance to take the lead back, but Jemarl Baker missed his jumper and the Rams rebounded.

Stevens then controlled the ball for the entire possession, running the clock down to under seven seconds before driving and tossing up a beautiful floater to take the lead back, at 67-65.

Defensively, the Rams locked down the Bulldogs after Fresno State was able to advance it over half court and call a timeout. Isaiah Rivera jumped between a pass and tipped it, forcing the ball to go off an FSU player for the turnover which cemented the Rams win.

For most of the game, Colorado State was in complete control.

John Tonje was a man on fire Wednesday afternoon, scoring a team-high 20 points, 11 of those in the first half. His 3-pointer in the final minute of the half pushed Colorado State to their biggest lead of the day at that point — seven — making it 36-29 at the break.

The Rams’ great shooting (47.8-40%) from the floor helped them to that lead, and so did their 10 free throw makes vs. zero of the Bulldogs before the break.

In the second half, CSU pushed their lead to 11 thanks to a 3-point make by Stevens with 12:00 to play. And while the Bulldogs remained resilient, two free throws by Tonje extended the lead to 12 — the Rams biggest — with 7:47 to play.

They led 60-48 at that point and it seemed like Colorado State would cruise to victory. Instead, the Bulldogs went wild; they went on a 7-0 run and then a 10-0 run with two more Tonje free throws in between.

Thanks to “Zay time” the Rams now move onto the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament.

The Rams improved to 3-0 against Fresno State this year and 15-17 on the season.

Next up, Colorado State faces a truly tough No. 20 San Diego State team who is bound for the NCAA Tournament no matter the outcome of the Mountain West tourney. SDSU is 24-6 overall and 15-3 in Mountain West play, and they beat the Rams in both the head-to-head contests this year. The Aztecs beat Colorado State by six in Fort Collins and then by 19 in southern California two weeks ago.

CSU – SDSU tips off at 1 p.m. MT tomorrow, March 9. Watch the game on CBS Sports Network.