As the number of undefeated teams dwindled to seven, Colorado State remained perfect after its toughest test of the year. The Rams staged a furious second-half comeback to defeat Mississippi State 66-63 Saturday afternoon.
For the third time this year, CSU overcame a double-digit deficit as it trailed by 11 in the first half. The Rams (10-0) were behind by eight with six minutes remaining and then went on a 17-2 run to seize the lead.
“They don’t stop the game 34 minutes in, or whatever it is,” CSU coach Niko Medved said, according to The Coloradoan. “You’ve got to play 40 minutes. We’re a team that can score in bunches, so we can go on runs with the way we play offense. “
Check out the highlights of @CSUMBasketball's 66-63 comeback win over Mississippi State!@droddy22 led the Rams with 19 points and @KendleMoore03 scored 13#AtThePeak | #MWMBB | #TeamTogether pic.twitter.com/iejpiyrsV3— Mountain West (@MountainWest) December 11, 2021
The Rams hit 42% of their 3-pointers, including going 7-for-15 in the second half. They limited Mississippi State to 25% from 3-point land and 2-of-13 over the final 20 minutes.
Colorado State junior David Roddy led the way with a game-high 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting and seven rebounds. He also gave the Rams the lead for good with a layup with just under four minutes left.
Senior Kendle Moore finished with 13 points and knocked down the 3-pointer to give CSU its largest lead of the game (66-59 with 2:20 remaining).
Junior Isaiah Stevens just missed a double-double as he compiled eight points and 10 assists.
This win is CSU’s first over a team from a Power Five conference this season.
“This was a testament to our emotional toughness,” Roddy said, according to The Coloradoan. “We’ve been talking about that for a long time. Having that maturity in our team is huge and it’s definitely going to win us a lot of games like we just did.”
Prior to this victory, the Rams defeated Saint Mary’s by 16. They also beat Creighton by 14 en route to the Paradise Jam title back in November.
CSU has compiled a 16.4 average margin of victory. Seven of its 10 wins have been by double figures.
Colorado State’s offense has drastically improved from a season ago. The Rams are averaging 83.4 points per game, compared to 74.0 last year.
Roddy is averaging 20.4 points per contest, 4.5 more than last year. Stevens has progressed as a facilitator as well and is distributing 7.3 assists per game (two more than last season).
The Rams’ victory and subsequent perfect record have garnered some attention nationally as they should enter the top-25 on Monday.
Colorado State has to be the most underrated team in college hoops.— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) December 11, 2021
Just improved to 10-0, beat Mississippi State, also has wins over Creighton and Saint Mary's this season.
Any voter who doesn't have them ranked next week, should have their vote taken away
Colorado State comes back from 11 down to beat Mississippi State by three and remain undefeated. Rams will have a number next to their name on Monday.— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) December 11, 2021
Colorado State came into the year with lofty expectations and was tabbed as the Mountain West preseason favorite. It started to mold into form at the end of last year with a run to the NIT semifinals.
CSU has won its first 10 games for the second time in program history. It started 14-0 seven years ago and finished third in the Mountain West that season.
The Rams have two more non-conference games before Mountain West play starts. They battle Tulsa Saturday before playing Alabama on Dec. 21.