Colorado State Squeaks Past the Pioneers, Winning the Battle for Colorado

Nick DavisContributor IIIJanuary 12, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 19:  Dorian Green #22, Greg Smith #44 and Wes Eikmeier #2 of the Colorado State Rams celebrate late in the team's 78-63 victory over the UNLV Rebels at the Thomas & Mack Center January 19, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Colorado State finished off its matchups against Colorado schools Wednesday night as they knocked off Denver, 79-75. Colorado State beat Colorado, Northern Colorado and now Denver.

Wednesday night the Rams were lead by Wes Eikmeier who paced the Rams with 22 points, including 10-of-10 from the free throw line, while Greg Smith hit the only three-pointer of the night for Colorado State with 8:19 remaining in the second half to lead the Rams past the Pioneers. The Rams are accustomed to relying on the three-ball, shooting 43 percent form behind the arc, which is fifth in the nation. Denver, who was second in the nation in free-throw percentage, went just 25-of-34 from the stripe.

Senior guard Brian Stafford led all scorers with 24 points for the Pioneers (13-4), who are off to their best start since becoming a Division-I basketball team. Chris Udofia chipped in with 15 points for the Pioneers.

The Pioneers head back to Denver to face the struggling Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (5-12) on Sunday. 

The Colorado State Rams (11-4) will now look to conference play. They begin with two games at home, against TCU and Boise State. Colorado State head coach Tim Miles, now in his fifth season, has turned around what was a team in detriment—7-25 (0-16) his first season—to two consecutive postseason appearances in his last two years with the Rams.

The Rams have now jumped up to No. 26 in the latest RPI poll, only one stop behind the Kansas Jayhawks.