Nelson scored 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds coming off the bench, but could not contain burly Cougars pivotman Rafael Araujo, who tossed in 21 points for the winners, and grabbed 12 rebounds. Nelson had missed the last four CSU games with a knee injury, and did not start Monday night. The win was the Coougars fourth in a row.
The Rams (11-12, 3-7 in MWC) jumped out ot a quick early lead, gaining a 19-8 advantage with just over nine minutes gone in the first half on a bucket by Nelson. But BYU (16-7, 6-4) took control with a 20-3 run over the next five minutes, and took a 35-32 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Just when the Rams looked ready to fade, Nelson pumped more life into them, keying a 7-0 run that drew CSU even at 54-54. But BYU answered again, aided by a three point play from back-up center Jake Schoff, they put together a 12-3 run that essentially put the game away.
Colorado State returns to action Saturday night at UNLV. Game time is 8:30 p.m. PT