Rams lose to Bulldogs on road, move to 0-2 in MW

Colorado State men’s basketball lost its fifth consecutive game Saturday night, as the Rams fell to Fresno State, 78-67 at the Save Mart Center.

Redshirt junior guard Anthony Masinton-Bonner had a career-high 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting, but the solid performance from the veteran was not enough to lift the Rams (5-10, 0-2) over the the Bulldogs (11-3, 2-0). CSU started slow and aside from Masinton-Bonner and Nico Carvacho, who recorded his tenth double-double of the 2018-19 season with 23 points and 13 rebounds, the Rams really struggled to consistently knock down shots.

CSU shot an abysmal 15.8 percent from 3-point range and did not do enough to create solid scoring opportunities. When players would get the basketball in the high post, the point guards would cut, but there were way too many guys standing around the perimeter and not attempting to get open or help get the defense out of position.

As a result, CSU really struggled to get open looks from the floor and the Rams only recorded seven assists as a team. The lack of movement also led to a high amount of turnovers, with multiple guys trying to force the basketball in tight spaces when they got locked up by the Bulldogs’ defenders. In total, CSU turned the basketball over 14 times, compared to 11 from Fresno State.

Senior point guard J.D. Paige had a tough time finding his shot in the loss. The Denver native finished 1-of-10 from the field and did not have a single assist. Fellow starters Kendle Moore (1-of-3) and Adam Thistlewood (1-of-4) did not fare much better on the night.

“We clearly lost the game in the first 10 minutes,” head coach Niko Medved said in a release. “We did a really poor job of handling pressure and handling their press. It's something we worked on for a  couple of days, but clearly we didn't have the right mentality.”

“They sped us up on offense,” Medved continued. “We settled for some quick shots and bad shots. We turned the ball over and didn't play very physical in the paint and we just didn't have a very good mindset on coming out.”

Fresno State had four of its five starters finish with double-digit figures and after building a 14-point lead in the first half, the Bulldogs never relinquished the lead. Senior guard Deshon Taylor led the Bulldogs in scoring with 21 points in the home victory.

The Rams will charter home after an extended road trip and host Air Force on Tuesday.

PHOTO: Tony Villalobos-May | Rocky Mountain Collegian