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Rams Overcome Aztecs at Home for Fourth Conference Win

Fort Collins, CO – Nique Clifford willed the Rams to a much needed win in Moby
Max Ebert
Moby Pregame Introductions

In the wake of two devastating losses on the road against Nevada and a heartbreaker in
overtime against Wyoming, the Rams won a big one against the San Diego State Aztecs in
Moby Arena’s fourth sellout of the season, 79-71.


The big win against the Aztecs was highlighted by Nique Clifford’s stellar performance,
recording a huge double-double putting up 20 points and highlighted by his huge, momentum
shifting, poster dunk late in the second half to give the Rams some space after being down for
the first time in the game moments before.


Even bigger than Clifford’s points was his big rebounding night, grabbing 10 boards including 3
early offensive rebounds to help get the Rams seven early second-chance points.


“I knew we needed to get back to starting off right, we been a little slow at the start of
games…I was just trying to do my part and I felt like the rest of my teammates did what they
were supposed to do as well, and we started out strong,” Clifford said when asked about the energy
his offensive boards gave the team.


Clifford’s performance did create that strong start, as the Rams matched their best 10
minute start in conference play.


The Rams got out to an early 17-4 lead for most of the first 10 minutes, as well as outrebounded
the Aztecs for most of the 1st half with an early 8-3 differential, thanks to Clifford’s efforts.


The Ram’s efforts were slowed a bit as the Aztecs finally started hitting shots many thanks to a
10 point 1st half from Reese Waters, but the Rams ended up leading the first half 37-29 at the


The half was highlighted by the tough performances from Clifford’s and Isaiah Stevens’ 14 and
10 points, respectively, and their great playmaking with a combined five assists.


One of the bigger performances of the game was the Ram’s Patrick Cartier and Rashaan
Mbemba, who held the nation’s 15th-best scorer Jaedon LeDee to just two points through the first
half, and 13 for the whole game, well under his 20.9 average per game.


“He’s (Jaedon LeDee) an All-American level player… I thought our guys did an unbelievable job
fighting to help take his space, crowd him, make his life difficult and I thought our guys did that,”
said Coach Niko Medved on the execution his team had of the game plan against LeDee.


The Ram’s defensive efforts made another scorer step up for the Aztecs, which came from
Reese Water’s and Lamont Butler’s combined 33-point performance including Lamont Butler’s
jumper to take the lead late in the second half.


The Ram’s came right back and responded, going on an 8-0 run with help from every starter
including a great spin-move layup from Patrick Cartier assisted by Josiah Strong, a great steal
from Isaiah Stevens, the aforementioned dunk from Nique Clifford, and a put-back dunk from
Joel Scott.


A full team effort was needed to get the tough win and the Rams starters delivered in every
facet. Four starters delivered double-digit point performances in the game, with a combined 40 from stars
Isaiah Stevens and Clifford.


The Rams ended the game 28-31 on rebounds as well, holding a much taller team well below
their usual 38 average boards a game, a big part of the win.


“Every game is going to be a battle, even on Saturday,” Medved emphasized, alluring to the Ram’s
fifth road matchup in conference play coming up on February third at 8 P.M. against Fresno State.


The game has the Rams seeking their first road conference game win of the season, and would
keep them in the picture with the top teams in the tough Mountain West Conference.