The Lobos win their 19th straight game in "The Pit" by holding off the Colorado State Rams tonight by a count of 83 to 75. After leading by 13 at the half the Lobos used the energy of the 16201 fans tonight at The Pit tonight to hold of the Rams.
The Lobos came out ready to play tonight with serious energy as both teams played well in the first part of the first half by trading baskets, but the Lobos seemed to dictate the pace of the game slowing it down while picking up the tempo when need be. The Lobos built a lead in the in the first half by as much as 14 points, with solid play by David Chiotti (12 in the first half) The bench had a nice evening tonight as well scoring a good chunk of the Lobo points. By the end of the first half the Lobos were up 13 and rolling. Joel Box came of the bench to a nice round of applause and scored 5 points in 4 minutes of play with a three and a nice drive to the basket.
The Lobos come out in the 2nd half and played well but not as well as they had in the 1st half as the Rams were able to chip away at the Lobos lead getting within 3 in the closing minutes of the game. The Pit fans sensing the Rams run picked up their intensity and the Lobo players were able to feed off of to eventually hold the Rams off for the final score of 83-75.
Walters on Defense
The Lobos pick up a key victory in the "Pit" tonight as they hold home court. Dave Chiotti had a few comments about how it is import to protect your house in the Mountain West. "You have win all your games at home and win half of them on the road you know you will be one of the top teams if you do that. You know it is all ways hard to win on the road, every place you play at is tough, as long as we protect our house, and go win at TCU which I think that is our next road game I think we are in good shape"
The Lobos were lead by a few of their usual players David Chiotti with 17 and Mark Walters with 16 and Tony Danridge 14. But the key to victory was the play of the bench Kris Collins ended the night with 9 points, while the recently returned Joel Box poured in 8. And how about Daniel Faris who scoured the first 6 points of his collegiate career?
Faris played well tonight and gave the Lobos solid minutes off the bench tonight, as he was able to bang inside with CSU's seven footers and hold his own out there. Coach McKay had some thought on Daniel after the game "He is only a freshmen and to play that well defensively in the MWC as a freshmen, great things are on the horizon for him."
Box is Back!
After the soap opera of Joel Box can finally quiet down tonight as Box came off the bench tonight and played well in 9 minutes of action. Joel had 8 points, 2 rebounds, a block, and a steal. Lobo fans and coaches hope to see him improve in practice and do great things for the Lobos. After the game I was able to ask frosh Daniel Faris about having Joel back. " Every one cool with having him back, Joel is a cool guy, if he works hard and proves him self that is all that matters. The team is a family and we will take him back"
I also spoke with CSU's head coach Dale Layer and get his thought on the game and the play of the Lobos "The Lobos out played us (CSU) especially in the first 20 minutes, you don't beat a good team and a well coached team and a prepared team by only playing 20 good minutes. They were ready for us and played extremely well, they do a lot of good things well and they are deep. If you get in a hole here at the pit in front of 16,000 you lose."
The Lobos improve to 1 -1 in the MW and 10 - 5 overall.
Photos Courtesy of NewMexicoSportsNews.com
Box photo Courtesty of AP
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