Illinois-Chicago dropped its second straight road match as guard Jon Octeus scored 18 points to lead Colorado State to a 74-61 victory on Monday at Moby Arena in Fort Collins. The Flames (5-8) had won two straight before a 57-56 heartbreaking loss at UC-Riverside last Friday, the first of a two-game swing to California and Colorado. Guard Kelsey Barlow, honored earlier Monday as Horizon League Player of the Week, scored 20 points to pace Illinois-Chicago. Monday's game was the first in 12 days and eighth straight at home for the Rams (8-4), who have six wins in that span. Octeus scored eight first-half points as the Rams pulled out to a 30-23 lead by halftime. Forward Hayden Humes matched the effort for the Flames but was held scoreless in the second half. Colorado State maintained a steady single-digit lead through the first 12 minutes of the second half then pushed it to 10 on forward Gerson Santo's layup with 8:01 to play for a 55-45 lead. By the 3:44 mark, the Rams' lead hit 15 on guard Daniel Bejarano's layup. The Flames never got closer than 11 points. Bejarano had 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds while forward J.J. Avila also had 10 points. Barlow earned Horizon honors after his first collegiate double-double on Dec. 14 against Southeast Missouri State with 21 points, 12 rebounds plus eight assists. He came into the game leading the Flames with 16.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Illinois-Chicago beat Colorado State 64-55 last season in Chicago, the first-ever meeting between the teams. The Flames battle Illinois on Saturday at the United Center while the Rams close the year on Saturday at home against Lamar.
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