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Sports / Recreation

Rams' NCAA hopes dashed in Las Vegas

March 10, 2011

The CSU men's basketball team saw its hopes for a berth in the NCAA Tournament end Thursday in a loss to New Mexico at the MWC Tournament.

CSU senior forward Andy Ogide (32) had 25 points and 11 rebounds Thursday against New Mexico at the MWC Tournament.The CSU men’s basketball team was eliminated from the Mountain West Conference Tournament on Thursday in a 67-61 quarterfinal loss to New Mexico.

The Rams (19-12) entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed, while New Mexico was No. 5. The Lobos (21-11) advance to tonight's semifinal at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center against eighth-ranked BYU. The tournament concludes Saturday in Las Vegas.

Loss ends NCAA hopes

The loss ends CSU's dream of earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Rams came into the MWC Tournament knowing they needed to win the championship to earn their first NCAA invitation since 2003.

For much of Thursday's game, the Rams looked to be in good position to beat the Lobos for the second time in three tries this season. The back-and-forth game featured numerous lead-changes and ties before the Lobos took control in the final two minutes.

After CSU's Wes Eikmeier hit two free throws to forge a 59-59 tie, the Lobos outscored the Rams 8-2 down the stretch. The key basket came from freshman Cameron Bairstow, whose 15-foot jump shot with the shot clock about to expire gave the Lobos a 63-59 lead.

Ogide shines once again

Senior forward Andy Ogide, selected earlier in the week for the all-MWC first team, led the Rams with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Eikmeier had 14 points and Dorian Green 13. Senior forward Travis Franklin -- CSU's second-leading scorer this season -- was held scoreless, while starting guard Adam Nigon did not play after suffering a severely sprained ankle in practice.

Kendall Williams led New Mexico with 16 points, while Drew Gordon added 13 points and 13 rebounds. New Mexico outrebounded CSU 41-28.

The NIT is expected to announce its 32-team field Sunday night.

Contact: Tony Phifer