With Colorado State and Missouri being two of the best rebounding teams in the country, the battle on the boards was an area that should have been a toss-up of sorts.
However the Rams dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Tigers 42-19 and shooting 49% from the field in the 84-72 victory. Point guard Dorian Green, who didn’t see much playing time in last week’s Mountain West tournament due to a sprained ankle, scored a game-high 26 points to pace Colorado State.
Three other CSU players reached double figures, and the Rams hit seven of their 14 three-pointers on the night. With the combination of their shooting percentages and managing to rebound nearly 43% of their misses, Colorado State controlled the flow of the game for much of the night.
Phil Pressey led Missouri with 20 points and seven assists. Next up for Colorado State is top-seed Louisville, which beat 16-seed North Carolina A&T in the first game of the night session in Lexington.
If there’s one concern for Colorado State with an eye towards Louisville it would be the turnovers, as they committed 14 against Missouri. Louisville harassed North Carolina A&T into 27 turnovers, and while there’s an obvious disparity in talent when comparing the Aggies to Colorado State the Rams must take better care of the basketball if they’re to pull off the upset.
Beating the Cardinals on Saturday will certainly be a tall order for Colorado State. But with five seniors in the starting lineup, including tough front court players such as Colton Iverson, Greg Smith and Pierce Hornung, the Rams won’t back down.
And if they control the boards as they did against Missouri, Colorado State’s got a puncher’s chance.