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Top scorer Isaiah Stevens leads No. 15 Colorado State vs. Adams State

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There is a new scoring king at Colorado State and Isaiah Stevens will wear his crown proudly when the Rams return home Friday to play host to Division II Adams State at Fort Collins, Colo.

No. 15 Colorado State (11-1) went to Los Angeles last Friday and delivered a 76-67 victory over Loyola Marymount behind 19 points and seven assists from Stevens, while Nique Clifford had to take secondary billing despite a career-best 23 points on 9-of-10 shooting.

Stevens now has 1,986 points in five seasons in the Rams’ program, passing the previous record set by Pat Durham (1,980 from 1985-89). But there was so much more from Stevens, who also broke Durham’s record for made baskets in a career, while also reaching 700 in career assists. He previously set Colorado State’s assists mark.

“I mean, it’s hard to put into words,” said Colorado State head coach Niko Medved, whose Rams teams have reached 20 wins in three of the previous four seasons Stevens has been in the program. “He’s meant the world personally, to our program, and you can tell when he set foot on our campus as a freshman, he had the ‘it’ factor.”

Medved is 103-65 as the Rams’ head coach and is one win away from breaking a tie with Dale Layer (2001-07) to move alone into fourth place on the program’s all-time list.

Stevens leads Colorado State with 17.7 points per game and 7.3 assists. He also is shooting 52 percent from the floor in a team-best 33.3 minutes. Stevens’ guidance at point guard has the Rams on track for another 20-win season and a potential second NCAA Tournament berth in three seasons.

As gratifying as the victory was against Loyola Marymount, Stevens seemed to find as much joy in the Rams’ 21 assists on 30 made baskets. Colorado State also had 36 points in the paint, mostly by making an extra pass to teammates cutting toward the basket for layups.

“I think that’s big time, especially against a (Loyola Marymount) team that has some active guards,” Stevens said. “… For us to get an assist on almost every basket we made, that’s what we preach and that’s what we work on, so that’s special.”

Colorado State now has consecutive victories after its only loss of the season 64-61 against Saint Mary’s on Dec. 9. A meeting with Adams State represents the final nonconference tune-up before Mountain West play begins Jan. 2 at home against New Mexico.

Adams State is the second Division II opponent in three games for Colorado State, which defeated CSU-Pueblo 86-54 on Dec. 17.

The contest is an exhibition for Adams State and doesn’t count toward its record. The Grizzlies’ previous contest also was an exhibition, an 89-83 setback at Denver on Dec. 18.

Colorado State earned a 90-80 victory over Denver on Dec. 6.

Adams State (3-8), from Alamosa in southern Colorado, is returning to action after a 10-day break.

Adams State trailed 80-78 with just under two minutes remaining before Denver pulled away.

Destan Williams scores 15.1 points per game for the Grizzlies, while Austin Fadal scored 13.8 points. Isaiah Sampson grabs 5.0 rebounds.

–Field Level Media

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