FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021
CONTACT: John A. Martin, Assistant Director of Athletics Communications
(540) 476-1259 | John.A.Martin@colostate.edu
John Tonje’s four-point play in the final minute lifts CSU to its second victory in San Diego since 2003-04
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Colorado State rallied from an early barrage from #23 San Diego State, completing the largest comeback in Mountain West and school history on a four-point play by sophomore John Tonje in the final minute that propelled the Rams to a 70-67 win over the Aztecs Saturday afternoon at Viejas Arena. With the win, the Rams improved to 6-1 on the year and 3-0 in the conference, while the Aztecs dropped to 6-2 and 0-1 in the league.
After the Rams got the opening bucket of the game, the Rams missed their next five field goal attempts and San Diego State went 5-of-6 from the floor for 14 unanswered points and eventually went on a 28-3 run to take control of the game at 28-5 midway through the half. The lead eventually grew to as many as 26 on 9-of-18 shooting from the arc in the first half. However, CSU rallied with a 21-2 run to close out the half, including holding the Aztecs without a field goal over the last [7:04], to enter the break down just 7 at 40-33.
SDSU started the second half on a 10-2 run but CSU again responded with a surge to cut it to 53-52 with 12:22 to play in the contest. The game remained within a handful of points the remainder of the way, as the Aztecs only led by as many as eight until the closing minutes. With SDSU up 67-59 with 2:06 to play and 67-60 with under a minute to go, sophomore guard Isaiah Stevens hit a layup to make it a five-point game. From there, Tonje scored on layup with 47 seconds to play and then, following a defensive stop, hit the three from the left corner to tie it, drew the foul and hit the free throw to put the Rams up one. CSU strongly contested SDSU’s final attempt and junior guard Kendle Moore got fouled and sank both free throws with two seconds left to seal the win.
For the game, the teams were fairly even from the floor, as Colorado State shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57) from the floor and 40.7 percent (11-of-27) on threes, while San Diego State was 40.4 percent (23-of-57) from the field and 46.7 percent (14-of-30) from the arc. The Rams won the battle of the boards, 39-31, and outscored their hosts 24-12 on points on the paint.
CSU had five players in double figures, led by junior Adam Thistlewood and sophomore David Roddy with 15 points each, as Roddy also added 12 rebounds for his third straight double-double. Moore finished with 13 points and five rebounds, while Tonje and sophomore Isaiah Stevens each had 11, with Stevens adding a game-high nine assists. San Diego State had four in double digits, paced by Terrell Gomez with 19 points.
STAT OF THE GAME
• Colorado State closed the game on an 11-0 run over the final [1:53] to earn the win.
• The two teams have been in a battle over history, with SDSU holding a slight 45-42 lead in games played, including 41-39 in conference action in both the WAC and MW. The Aztecs lead 27-14 in San Diego.
• CSU leader Niko Medved got his first win over San Diego State in four tries as a head coach.
• The previous largest comeback in CSU history occurred under Medved last season, as the Rams rallied from 19 down at Wyoming to earn a 77-70 win on Feb. 15, 2020.
• This was the first win over a ranked opponent since Feb. 29, 2012, a 66-59 win over #17 UNLV at Moby Arena
• This was the first road win over a ranked opponent since Jan. 5, 1973, a 93-86 win at #15 BYU.
• CSU is now 3-0 in Mountain West play for the first time in the 22-year history of the league.
• The Rams are now 9-27 (4-15 in MW) under Medved when trailing at halftime.
• The Rams have held their opponent under 45 percent from the field in all seven games this year and are 6-1 when shooting more free throws than their opponent
• CSU is now 14-3 overall when Thistlewood hits at least three 3-pointers and 14-0 when Moore hits three triples.
• Roddy’s double-double was the fourth of this season and the sixth of his career (CSU is 6-0 when he has one).
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