FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Andy Ogide did it again. For the second time this season, the Colorado State senior posted a double-double on Utah.
And as was the case in Salt Lake City earlier this season, it was more than enough to lift the Rams past the Utes.
Ogide scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as CSU swept the season series with a 78-65 victory at Moby Arena.
"I thought Ogide was terrific. He made guarded shots," said Utah coach Jim Boylen. "I thought we made him play away from the basket and he still made plays."
After Ogide tagged the Utes for 28 points and 10 rebounds in CSU's 74-68 victory in the Huntsman Center on Jan. 29, they planned to double-team him Wednesday night.
Problem was, the 6-foot-9 post player didn't spend a lot of time in the paint.
"That was an issue for us," Boylen acknowledged.
So, too, was a major discrepancy at the free-throw line.
The Rams were 24-of-26 from the charity stripe, while the Utes were just 8-of-11. Then there's the battle of the boards, where CSU claimed a lopsided 35-21 advantage.
"I thought they played like a veteran team should play on Senior Night and we didn't respond very well," Boylen said while adding that the Rams' defense was also a factor.
The Utes held just one lead — at 31-30 early in the second half, before falling behind by as many as 17 points down the stretch.
"We played hard in the beginning," said Utah guard Josh Watkins, who led the Utes with 22 points and nine assists. "But we didn't show toughness towards the end."
As a result, Utah's three-game winning streak came to an end. It's a mark the Utes have been unable to surpass on two other occasions this season — including the earlier loss to the Rams.
"These guys have smashed our streak twice and you have to give them credit," Boylen said. "This has been a difficult team for us to play against and we struggle against these guys."
The latest setback assures Utah of a second consecutive losing season in Mountain West Conference play. The Utes enter Saturday's regular season finale against UNLV at home with a 13-16 overall record and a 6-9 league mark.
With the MWC tournament also looming, Boylen noted that there's still a lot of basketball left and that the Utes have to learn from their mistakes.
"It's frustrating," said sophomore center Jason Washburn, who finished with 12 points. "But you know, it's on us."
Boylen thought the Utes needed to be more aggressive on defense early on.
The Rams built a pair of 10-point advantages over the first 20 minutes. The Utes, though, used a 7-0 run to close things out and make it close. They tightened things up defensively and held CSU without a field goal over the final 5:05 of the half to cut the deficit to 30-29 at the break.
The effort pleased Boylen.
"I thought we did a heckuva job battling in the first half," he said while praising the Utes for hanging in there.
Utah opened the second half with a basket by Watkins to take the lead for the first time. However, from that point on, CSU outscored the Utes 48-34 to win handily.
"We just had to buckle down and we didn't," Watkins said.16 comments on this story
The Rams, meanwhile, kept their NCAA tournament hopes alive by snapping a three-game skid and improving to 19-10 and 9-6.
"This is huge," Ogide said as CSU prepares for a tough road test on Saturday. ". . . We are going to go to San Diego State and try and do the same thing."