On a Wednesday night two Februaries ago in Fort Collins, Colorado State senior guard Dorian Green, then a sophomore, was tasked with guarding San Diego State point guard DJ Gay on the last possession of the game, which ended with Gay nailing a step-back jumper over Green to give San Diego State a 56-54 win.
On a February Wednesday night just more than two years later, Green was the one making the game winning shots in a 66-60 victory over the Aztecs.
Green hit a deep 3-pointer with just more than a minute left in the game following a Colorado State offensive rebound – their 14th of the game – to give the Rams a 61-60 lead. After a Xavier Thames air ball on the opposite end of the floor, Green found himself with the ball in his hands yet again, now leading by one.
This time he drove the lane, converting a running basket and drawing a foul with 19.4 seconds left. He sank the free-throw to give the Rams a 64-60 lead. SDSU’s Jamaal Franklin turned the ball over near midcourt following the inbounds pass, leading to a Colorado State breakaway dunk and 66-60 final score in favor of the Rams.
It was a strong finish to a strong game for Green, who scored 16 points and dished out six assists. He scored the Rams last six points over the final 64 seconds of the game, but the final three came with some controversy. While going up for the shot, Green collided with Jamaal Franklin, who appeared to have established firm position in the lane well before Green elevated.
The officials didn’t see it that way, though, calling the block on Franklin instead of the charge on Green. With the victory, Colorado State extended their home court winning streak to 27 games, the third longest in the nation.
The loss drops the Aztecs to 18-6 overall and 6-4 in the Mountain West conference, while the win moves the Rams to 20-4 overall and 7-2 in the conference.
The Rams remained a half game behind New Mexico in the conference standings after the Lobos snuck past Fresno State on the road, 54-48. Meanwhile the Aztecs are tied in the conference standings with Air Force, who blew out UNLV at home 71-56 on Wednesday night.
Chase Tapley led the Aztecs with 16 points, and also gathered three rebounds and three steals. Xavier Thames had a nice game as he still struggles with a nagging back injury. At one point in the second half he scored seven straight points for the Aztecs, finishing with 12 points and four rebounds.
JJ O’Brien reached double figures with 12 points and added five rebounds, as did Jamaal Franklin, who scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds. But Franklin was held without a field goal in the second half and made just 4-of-13 shots in the game.