Rams rally, beat Sam Houston State to end four-game losing streak

Nico Carvacho drives. Credit: CSU Athletics Communications.
Nico Carvacho drives. Credit: CSU Athletics Communications.

The Rams have finally rebounded.

After losing four straight games — during the toughest part of their schedule — Colorado State rallied and beat Sam Houston State 71-65 on Saturday at Moby Arena.

Nico Carvacho was as dominant as maybe he’s ever been for the Rams, scoring at will down in the low block by using sweet spin moves and soft hands. He was an absolute beast on the boards, as per usual, and played physically on defense, too. Carvacho led the Rams in both scoring and rebounding with 12 points and seven rebounds in the first half alone. He finished with 20 and 19.

However, the Rams trailed 36-33 at halftime to a feisty Sam Houston State team as Bubba Furlong led with 10 points and four rebounds of his own. The Rams, playing extremely sloppy basketball, turned the ball over 11 times in the first half alone.

The Bearkats, who enjoyed multiple big runs in the game, started the 2nd half out on a 12-6 run and extended their lead to nine points. But, just like they did in the first half, the Rams rallied in the second half, being led by Carvacho. He was unstoppable all day long, getting to the rack, putting in tip-backs as he dominated down low.

Down the stretch, the Rams started playing like they have to in order to win with consistency; Paige’s key rebound turned into a fast-break score to take back the lead with 6 minutes to go. Adam Thistlewood’s rebounding was helpful, and the freshman even had a block that led to a break. And after too many turnovers in the first half, CSU cleaned it up, turning it over only four times in the second half.

“Emphasis the last week or so has been on defense,” Carvacho explained after the win. “We did a great job executing the game plan in the second half.”

“It was really important,” J.D. Paige said of the win. “We didn’t want to go on a five-game losing streak right before finals…We’ve had a good week of practice, so I expected it.”

Colorado State was led by J.D. Paige with a 23-point game, while Carvacho was an absolute beast. The Rams, who had been bullied on the bards many times as of late, out-rebounded the Bearkats 42-34 while also limiting Sam Houston State to 36 percent shooting.

Now, the Rams (5-5) have a full week off for the first time all season long before playing South Dakota on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. MT.

(Quotes from Niko Medved and players as soon as we get them.)