FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) Isaiah Stevens scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half and had 11 assists to help No. 20 Colorado State beat Colorado 88-83 on Wednesday night.

Jalen Lake had 16 points despite playing with a broken finger suffered in practice, which coach Niko Medved said will require surgery.

“He’s probably he’s going to miss six weeks, which is a big blow to our team,” Medved said. “Tonight he wanted to tape it up and give it a go, and that performance from him, doing that for us and the way he played, is legendary.”

Nique Clifford and Joel Scott had 15 each for the Rams (7-0), who ended a three-game losing streak against their in-state rivals. Students rushed the Moby Arena court to celebrate with the players after the final horn.

Clifford played three seasons with Colorado before transferring north to join the Rams.

“I tried to get that in my head that it was just another game but in reality is not,” Clifford said. “I have ties with those guys, I was there for three years, so I had some pride going into that game. It feels really good to come away with a win.”

KJ Simpson had 30 points and freshman Cody Williams added 21 for the Buffaloes (5-2), who couldn’t overcome a poor first half when they made just 7 of 26 from the field, missed all five of their 3-point attempts and had nine turnovers. Colorado shot 20 of 29 in the second half with just six turnovers.

The Buffaloes pulled within five early in the second half but fell behind by 12 after coach Tad Boyle’s technical foul with 10:15 left. Stevens made all four free throws to put Colorado State 64-52, but a layup by Williams made it 82-77 with 54 seconds left.

The Rams broke the press and Stevens fed Clifford for a dunk, and he split a pair of free throws to make it 85-77.

“That’s not easy. He’s a human being and you’re playing against your former teammates and coaches, guys you know, guys you lived with,” Medved said. “I thought his approach was tremendous. He just came out there, he was locked into the game. Cool moment for him to get that dunk at the end that kept them at bay.”

Colorado State played without Patrick Cartier, who suffered a back injury in the win over Creighton on Thanksgiving.


Colorado: The Buffaloes, who fell out of the rankings this week, lost their first true road game of the season and will likely stay out of the polls heading into Pac-12 play.

Colorado State: The Rams followed their dominant win over then-No. 8 Creighton with another strong performance. “We kept telling ourselves to keep acting like we’re not ranked,” Stevens said.


Colorado: Hosts Pepperdine on Sunday.

Colorado State: Hosts Washington on Saturday.

--- Get alerts and updates on AP Top 25 basketball throughout the season. Sign up here --- AP college basketball: and

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.