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Rams Lead Boise State Most of Game, Continue Win Streak to Three

Fort Collins, CO – A dominant performance at home pushes the Rams to just one game behind first in the Mountain West
Max Ebert
Jalen Lake Dunking in Warmups

The Rams led for 37:30 of the entire 40 minutes of the game as great defense and strong team offense led to a major victory for the Rams over the Bosie State Broncos, 75-62.

Coming into the game, the Broncos were one of the top defenses in the conference and had the best rebounding margin between rebounds for and against across 22 games on the season.

The Rams throughout the game kept the Broncos close on the boards, matching the Broncos’ 29 total boards, and grabbing 25 of their 29 on the defensive side.

The Rams’ had a thorough performance from the entire team. Not only did Isaiah Stevens have a great night with 16 points and 11 assists to get his 4th double-double of the season, but the Rams’ bench was the performance of the night.

The Rams’ bench outscored the Broncos’ bench 23-8 on the night, a big part of the Rams win. The performance was highlighted by Joe Palmer, Rashaan Mbemba, and Jalen Lake scoring seven, eight, and eight points respectively, and grabbing nine boards total.

Their performances were key to victory, as the starters needed some help. Some of the starters had off nights, including Patrick Cartier. Cartier had three fouls through the first half and picked up his fourth with over nine minutes left, causing him to have more limited minutes in key parts of the game.

Cartier could not make as big of an impact as he usually does, which called for others to step up. Joel Scott and Rashaan Mbemba took that call, scoring 21 for the Rams, making key shots on the perimeter and in the post when Cartier was not on the floor.

“(Mbemba) cares so much, he’s playing so hard and physical, he really understands angles in the post,” said Coach Niko Medved, who was complimentary of Mbemba’s efforts in the game when Cartier got into foul trouble earlier on.

Nique Clifford also had an off night, starting 1-6 from field goals including going 0-3 from three-point range. He continued to push through this adversity, however, and grabbed six boards tied for most on the night throughout the game.

Clifford remained resilient, and late after the Broncos brought the game within 9 points with 6:08 left, Clifford broke through and scored 5 points within a minute to fight the Broncos back and help keep the lead for the rest of the night.

“That’s just kind of the character of these guys…We got a group of guys who love to compete, and they are in it to win it…He is the kind of guy that will respond,” said Medved, who had faith in Clifford’s resilient character in his off-and-on performance, “Who knows what he’ll do Friday.”

Aside from Tyson Degenhart scoring 25 points on the night, the Rams limited a team that usually has four players averaging double figures to just two players on the night. The Rams’ perimeter defense played a big part in limiting scoring, with top-tier defense from Jalen Lake and Josiah Strong.

The Rams’ big win has put them right in the mix with the rest of the Mountain West, with a record of 6-4 in conference play. The Rams have eight games left and will look to try and stay in the mix for first.

The Rams’ next big test will come at home on Friday night in Moby at 7:30 against San José State, where the Rams will look to extend their win streak to four.