FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Colton Iverson added his fourth consecutive double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds and Colorado State held off Evansville 79-72 on Saturday afternoon.
Greg Smith had 19 points and eight rebounds for Colorado State (6-0). Wes Eikmeier and Dorian Green also had 16 points for the Rams, which is off to their best start since 2005-06. Colorado State extended its home winning streak to 17.
D.J. Balentine led Evansville (4-3) with a career-high 26 points. Colt Ryan added a season-high 20 and the Purple Aces had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Evansville made four 3-pointers in the last five minutes when the Purple Aces nearly erased an 18-point second half deficit.
Green buried a 3-pointer and had a layup off a steal to put Colorado State ahead 59-41 with 13 minutes left. Ballentine answered quickly with a jumper just inside the arc and began Evansville’s comeback bid with two consecutive 3-pointers to reduce the lead to 69-62.
Eikmeier’s trey stopped the surge briefly.
While Colorado State made only 3-of-6 free throws, Ryan made two shots and Ned Cox sank a 3-pointer ahead of another basket by Ryan to get the Purple Aces within four at 76-72 with 17 seconds left.
Smith took the inbounds pass over Evansville’s press and had a dunk and a free throw to seal the game.
Colorado State shot 58 percent from the field in the first half and had a 17-9 rebounding edge. The Purple Aces packed the lane to take away Iverson, but Iverson kicked the ball back out to Green and Eikmeier for wide open shots.
Eikmeier gave the Rams their biggest lead of the half, 39-23 with 5:02 left.
By DALE BUBLITZ,Associated Press
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