Colorado State needed to do something bold to make its case for an invitation to the 2012 NCAA Tournament. To that end, the Rams did something they have not done in 14 years on Thursday. An 81-60 win over No. 5 TCU in the opening round of the Mountain West Tournament gave the No. 4 Rams 20 wins, a threshold they have not surpassed since the 1997-1998 season.
Led by Pierce Hornung, CSU jumped out to a 42-26 lead at the half. Hornung finished the game with a double-double, his fourth of the season. He led the team with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Five other CSU players scored in double digits. CSU beat TCU on the boards as well, carving out a 35-26 advantage in rebounds.
Hank Thorns led TCU with 19 points, five rebounds and five assists. J.R. Cadot had 10 points, the only other player in double figures for the Horned Frogs.
Colorado State can really make its case for an invitation to the Big Dance with a win over No. 1 San Diego State in the semifinals. They play Friday at 6:00 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network.
A complete Mountain West Tournament bracket is available here.