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AP Poll #15 ranked Rams dominate the Grizzlies 106-61 in Jalen Lake’s return to the court

Fort Collins, CO- One full week of rest didn’t give the Rams any trouble offensively
Photo by River Kinnaird (The Collegian)

The Ram’s break of games over the holiday didn’t slow them down any as they won resoundingly over the Adams State Grizzlies, 106-61 in their final non-conference game of the season.

Jalen Lake made his return to the Rams lineup as a starter after missing time with a broken finger. He had not played since week 4 against the Colorado Buffaloes in a game where he scored 16 points and had 2 steals off the bench.

Lake’s impact on the court immediately, tallying 4 quick points in the first 3 minutes of the game to help the Rams gain a lead they would not lose for the rest of the game. Lake would finish in double digits, with 12 points on the night on efficient shooting paired with 5 assists.

Lake’s impactful return was also felt by the team, as Joe Palmer let us in on how nice it was having him back, saying, “A lot better having him back, I tell a lot of guys in the locker room Lake is our best on ball defender, him and Josiah (Strong), getting these guys back is super crucial going into conference play.”

Aside from Lake’s return, it was a big night for the whole team, as there were 7 players in double figures, including all five starters for the Rams.

Isaiah Stevens, who was honored pregame for breaking the all-time scoring record in CSU men’s basketball history against the LMU Lions a week ago, continued his dominant final season, scoring 13 points on perfect shooting, going 5-5 from the field with 3 three-pointers and 7 assists in only 21 minutes.

With 18 minutes left in the 2nd half, the Rams never led by less than 20, giving the bench the opportunities throughout the game to shine while the starters got rest.

The bench unit scored 47 points total led by efforts from Joe Palmer and Javonte Johnson with 11 and 10 points respectively. Luke Murphy notably scored his first NCAA basket as well.

When reflecting on the bench’s performance and how these opportunities will translate for the bench’s success in the future, Coach Niko Medved elaborated, saying, “We have depth, we got a lot of guys who can perform…it’s a testament to those guys staying ready.”

The depth of the Rams squad this year has been key to their success as early injuries to key players like Josiah Strong, Patrick Cartier, and Jalen Lake have all been backed up by the Rams depth off the bench, which has led them now to a 12-1 record in there non-conference schedule, one of the best in the Mountain West division.

The Rams currently are ranked 15th in the nation and will likely move up due to losses from higher ranked schools like #13 Gonzaga. The Rams will now look to conference play, as they open up their schedule at Moby Arena in the new year on January 2nd, when they will take on the 12-1 New Mexico Lobos at 8:30 P.M.