| Fort Collins Coloradoan
The Colorado State basketball team had its worst offensive game in nearly 40 years to set up a blowout loss at Saint Mary’s.
The Rams were, to put it mildly, atrocious on the offensive end in a 53-33 road defeat Saturday night.
It’s the lowest scoring output for CSU since scoring 31 at Wyoming on Jan. 2, 1982. According to CSU’s record book it is the fourth-lowest total since the 1965-66 season.
“I’ve never been a part of an offensive game like that,” CSU coach Niko Medved said postgame.
Here are three thoughts on the Rams’ loss.
Stunning offensive woes
CSU (2-1) averaged 90 points per game in its first two contests. Yes, those were against a Division II CSU-Pueblo and a struggling RMAC team in Northern Arizona but this should be a good offensive team.
Not on this night, at least.
Saint Mary’s (8-1) was playing its ninth game of the season while the Rams are still in the early phases after a nearly three-week COVID-19 shutdown.
CSU looked way off the pace.
The hosts started on a 14-0 run and the game was seemingly over before it even got going. CSU missed its first nine shots and it hardly ever improved.
The final stats are basically NSFW.
CSU was 12-48 (25%) from the field and 2-15 (13%) from 3-point land, while 16 turnovers turned into 19 Saint Mary’s points. CSU had just four total assists.
“This is what they do. They are an extremely physical team. They are going to be physical on drives, they’re going to wall you up at the rim, they’re going to bust through screens,” Medved said.
“Clearly, we looked unprepared on offense because we were unable to move the ball. We did a poor job when we got the ball in the lane of passing. I think we missed a lot of shots in the lane early. Some of that was us, some of that was them.”
CSU’s leading scorer was Dischon Thomas with only eight points.
Losing at Saint Mary’s is nothing to be embarrassed about, the Gaels are perennial postseason contenders. But the way it happened will have CSU and Ram fans shaking their heads.
For Medved, he’s hoping the awful shooting will be a write-off that will be forgotten as the Rams get into full swing mode.
“To beat really good teams, you’re really going to have to play as a team on offense,” Medved said. “But, I’ll say this, for us, I still believe — and we’ll see what happens at the end of the year — the way we play as a team on offense is going to be one of our great strengths this year. It was a weakness for us tonight…
“Today was just a historically frustrating game.”
Defense not so bad
It will be completely forgotten, but the defensive performance for CSU should have been enough to give the Rams a chance to win on the road.
Saint Mary’s was held nearly without a bucket for nearly 10 minutes at one point in the second half, but it hardly mattered because of the big deficit and CSU’s offensive ineptitude.
Saint Mary’s shot just 37% for the game and the Rams forced 14 turnovers, but then couldn’t convert them into points. The Gaels only shot two free throws.
“If you would have told me we would hold Saint Mary’s to 53 points, I would have thought we would have been right there to win,” Medved said.
Rebounding was also an issue for CSU, getting beat 41-30 on the boards.
Scheduling continues to be a wild, last-minute affair.
Medved told his team to pack for a five-day trip when they left for California, with no return flight scheduled.
The Rams were hunting another game before Christmas and didn’t know where it would come from.
Now, they have one. CSU will play at Santa Clara (6-0) at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Santa Clara’s last would-have-been game was against San Jose State but was cancelled due to coronavirus issues.
CSU will stay in California until the game, practicing Sunday at Saint Mary’s.
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