Utes fall in Ft. Collins

Colorado State University used a 13-0 first-half run to break open a close game en route to a 73-57 Mountain West Conference basketball win over visiting Utah Tuesday night.

The win moves CSU to 12-3 overall, 2-1 in league play entering a game Saturday afternoon at San Diego State.

With the scored tied at 17 with nine minutes left in the opening half, Colorado State scored 13 in a row, including five by guard Cory Lewis.

Lewis was one of four Rams to finish in double figures, including All-American forward Jason Smith, swingman Tyler Smith, and guard Tim Denson, who each scored 13. Lewis finished with 12 points along with a game highs in rebounds, nine, and assists, seven.

"I thought the guard play was as good as it's been," said Rams' coach Dale Layer following the game. "When you get good guard play, it makes you look so much better."

Layer also praised his team's defense, particularly Denson.

"I thought our defense was very, very good. I thought Tim Denson was inspiring in how he defends. He does not get enough credit for constantly taking the best player."

Colorado State took a 37-27 halftime lead, and widened the advantage to as many as 22 points in the second half before settling for a 16-point win - tying for the Rams' third widest in MWC play since joining the league in 1999-2000. A crowd of 3,642 was on hand to see the Rams tie their best three-game start in MWC play.

Layer also credited his team's rebounding in the game. The Rams finished with 35 rebounds, 15 more than the Utes. CSU held Utah to just eight second-half rebounds.

"I think we are consistently improving in that area," Layer said.

The Rams, for the sixth game in a row, also shot better than 50 percent from the field. CSU connected on 22-of-42 field goal tries, 52 percent, while holding Utah to just 41 percent, 19-of-46.

CSU's victory was the Rams' third in a row over the Utes - a first since the 1992 and '93 seasons, respectively.

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