SEATTLE (AP) – A season ago, finding wins on the road was near impossible for Colorado State.
Now just four games into the 2012-13 season, the Rams have one of their biggest road victories in recent memory.
Greg Smith scored 15 points, Dorian Green added 14 and Colorado State outrebounded defending Pac-12 regular-season champion Washington by 24 in a 73-55 win on Saturday night.
The Rams (4-0) had more offensive rebounds (24) than Washington had total rebounds (21) as the frontcourt of Smith and Colton Iverson overpowered the Huskies (2-3).
Iverson had 13 points and 12 rebounds. Daniel Bejarano also scored 13 points for Colorado State, and Pierce Hornung added 12 rebounds.
“That’s kind of the epitome of us,” Smith said. “We just want to be tough-minded guys and go out there every night and just find a way to win.”
C.J. Wilcox, with 28 points, was the only Washington player in double figures.
Colorado State is now 2-0 on the road this season after also winning at Denver. The Rams had just three wins away from home last season.
“Just going out there and getting one on somebody else’s home court and saying that we can do it is going to be a good confidence booster for us down the road,” Smith said.
Colorado State did it by dominating the Huskies on the glass. Their 24 offensive rebounds led to 22 second-chance points. Combined with 55 percent shooting in the second half, the performance was exactly what coach Larry Eustachy is looking for from his players.
“We don’t have to shoot it great. We can be a really, really good team. That’s what I sell them on,” Eustachy said. “But when we do play the way we play and (also) make baskets, then you get this kind of score.
“When we shoot it like that, we can play with anybody.”
After a fairly even first half that saw neither team lead by more than five points, the Rams took command with a 15-0 run to go on top 47-38 early in the second half.
Wilcox and Aziz N’Diaye combined for eight points after the break to give Washington a 38-32 lead. Colorado State then forced the Huskies into turnovers and poor shots during its run.
A Washington turnover led to a wide open 3-pointer by Wes Eikmeyer from the right wing to pull the Rams within one. Wilcox then forced a runner in the lane late in the shot clock that led to another fastbreak by Colorado State as Smith converted to give the Rams the lead. Consecutive 3-pointers from Dorian Green and a jumper from Smith extended the lead to 47-38.
A N’Diaye free throw finally broke the run and Wilcox converted a three-point play to pull the Huskies back within five, but the inability to track down rebounds continued to haunt the Huskies. Colorado State got its own rebound after a missed 3-pointer, and Green delivered a behind-the-back pass from the free-throw line to a cutting Smith for a lay-in.
“We talked to our team about how Colorado State was leading the country in rebounding — plus-17 I think going into this game — and that might be the number one key matching their physicality. And we failed miserably in that area,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said.
“They just out-physicaled us.”
The lead changed hands nine times in the first half as neither team was able to mount a substantial run. The Huskies’ 25-20 lead late in the frame was the largest by either team before the break.
Abdul Gaddy scored nine points for Washington, but was held scoreless in the second half.
Notes: Washington guard Scott Suggs did not play due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He was in a walking boot on the Huskies’ bench.
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