Can Colorado State Withstand Boise State's Blackout Saturday?

By Rich Kurtzman
Ron Chenoy – USA Today Sports

Home, sweet home.

If only Colorado State could always play at home, they’d have lost only one game this season.

But, in college basketball, you have to play on the road; it’s where contenders are made tougher and better through adversity, and where pretenders whither under the pressure like a lily under a heat lamp.

CSU is an even 5-5 on the road this season, which, is actually pretty darn decent. It’s not awesome, but good, and much improved over recent years for the Rams.

It’s not just competing away from Moby Arena that gets effects Colorado State’s play, it’s the crazy crowds that get the team out of their element.

Against the rival Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder, 10,000-plus screaming fans – as well as the team’s aggressive style – overwhelmed the Rams. In San Diego, the hooting Aztecs fans messed up CSU’s mojo; the same can be said of The Pit in New Mexico and the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas last Wednesday.

What those four games have in common is this; Colorado State couldn’t operate offensively and fell behind by too big of deficits to come back and win. They were down 22, 18, 16 and 13 points respectively, and while there’s no doubt the Rams are a second half team, the energy expended to come back was too much; there was nothing left in the tank to steal the victory.

And, after a much-needed win Wednesday over the Fresno State Bulldogs, CSU has a big road test staring them down.

The Rams travel to Boise, Idaho to play the Boise State Broncos, who are gearing up for the annual “Blackout” game. It will be a packed house at the Taco Bell Arena, and to make matters more difficult, Boise is playing for their NCAA Tournament lives

On top of that, the Broncos’ sophomore guard/forward Anthony Drmic leads all Mountain West Conference players in scoring during conference play with 18.5 points per. Drmic has been scoring by blowing by defenders and getting to the basket, instead of settling for three-pointers like he has in the past. Right behind Drmic in scoring is guard Derrick Marks at 15.7 points per game, and he’s able to score from close range or from beyond the arc.

Overall, Boise is 44th in scoring, averaging 73.9 points, slightly more than CSU.

For the Rams, center Colton Iverson leads in scoring (14.0) and rebounds (9.9) and he’s been on fire as of late. The big man is beasting opponents, recording three straight double-doubles in his last three games. Pierce Hornung‘s 9.4 RPG helps Colorado State be the best boarding team in the nation, but they’re not just about the fearsome frontcourt.

CSU’s guards have come alive lately; Wes Eikmeier has been stroking from outside, while Dorian Green is the team’s go-to guy in the clutch.

Simply speaking, both teams are talented, tough and each wants desperately to win this game. They’re extremely close in most stat categories – except for rebounding where the Rams are the decided favorite – and it’s so close there’s no betting line.

Boise State is 12-1 at home this season, meaning it will take a tremendous effort by Colorado State to steal a victory.

Will they be up to the task?

The game tips off at 6 p.m. MT and will not be televised, but streaming video is available through Boise State’s website.

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