Rams take league opener

Forward Brian Greene wasted little time in becoming the 13th player in Colorado State University men's basketball history to score 1,000 career points. Greene, a senior from Brighton, Colo., scored a team-best 25 points - including the team's first six - and now has 1,013 points in his career in helping Colorado State to a 74-58 win over visiting New Mexico before 5,389 fans in Moby Arena Monday night, and a national television audience on ESPN.

Greene helped the Rams to lead by as many as 21 points as Colorado State won its first conference opener since 1997.

"I thought it was a hard-fought basketball game.  I told our team all week it would be, and it was," said Rams' third-year coach Dale Layer. "There are no easy ones in this league.  You have to be prepared for that every night."

Colorado State is now 12-4 overall and 1-0 in the league, while New Mexico is now 5-8, 0-1.

Greene was the only player to score in double figures, but had plenty of help on the boards.  Greene had 10 caroms, but teammate Matt Nelson had a game-high 11 - the first time since 1997 that two Rams had been in double figures in the same game in rebounds.

The Rams also tied a school record by blocking 11 shots including four by Nelson.

Layer's team, facing former Rams' coach Ritchie McKay, broke the game open early.  Trailing 3-2 a minute into the contest, Green's second basket of the night put the Rams ahead to stay.  Minutes later, Colorado State went on a 12-0 run over a 4:45 span to take a commanding 18-5 lead.  Colorado State led by 16 points, 38-22 at intermission thanks to Greene's 16 points.

The Rams widened the lead to as many as 19 points early in the second half.  UNM closed the gap to as few as seven points on Ruben Douglas' jumper with 9:48 to play.  Colorado State stemmed the rally with a 6-0 run.  Douglas finished with a game-best 35 points.

Colorado State returns to MWC action Saturday at 7 p.m. in Moby Arena, playing host to Air Force.

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