- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - Colorado State is building off the best start in school history.

Daniel Bejarano scored 15 points, John Gillon had 14 and No. 24 Colorado State won its 12th straight game to start the season with a 75-54 victory over Charleston Southern on Monday night.

“I know we can shoot and when you can shoot, you can beat about anybody on a given night,” Rams coach Larry Eustachy said. “If we defend and rebound, and we get it going on certain nights, we can beat some pretty good teams. We’re more than capable. How good can we be? I think we just have to stay healthy and we’ll be real good.”

On this night, he got no argument from Charleston Southern coach Barclay Radebaugh.

“I haven’t seen a team shoot the ball like that in a long time,” Radebaugh said. “When you’ve got four, five guys shooting the ball like that, the floodgates open. I thought we played well, but Colorado State was able to open a lead up that we weren’t able to come back from.”

The Rams were especially effective from 3-point range, making 13 of 29 shots from beyond the arc (44.8 percent). The Buccaneers were 8 for 27.

“Our main focus was defense, so on offense we just tried to move, pull it up and hit it,” Bejarano said.

Stanton Kidd had 13 points and J.J. Avila added 11 for Colorado State (12-0), which also set the longest single-season winning streak in school history. The previous high was an 11-game run during the 1988-89 season.

“We are trying to out-determine teams every single game,” Bejarano said. “Just having that winning mentality, that goes a long way.”

Saah Nimley scored 18 points to lead Charleston Southern (5-5). Arlon Harper added 11.

Up by 17 at the break, the Rams stretched their lead to 50-21 by scoring the first 12 points of the second half. The spurt included 3-pointers by Bejarano and Kidd and a rim-rattling, fast-break dunk by Tiel Daniels after a Charleston Southern turnover.

Harper’s three-point play helped the Buccaneers cut the deficit to 53-30.

The Rams answered with more offense. By the time Gian Clavell and Kidd connected on 3-pointers on successive possessions, Colorado State’s advantage had ballooned to 30 points with 7:13 remaining.

The Rams substituted freely the rest of the way.

Colorado State pulled out to a 38-21 halftime lead, closing the period with a 9-0 run that included making seven of eight free throws.

Charleston Southern got 3-pointers from Harper and Will Saunders to pull to 19-15 midway through the first half, but the Rams offset them with 3s on successive possessions by Gillon.

___

TIP-INS

Charleston Southern: The game marked the Buccaneers’ first meeting with Colorado State. … The loss was the Buccaneers’ fourth in a row on the road since opening the season with a 66-65 overtime win at Ole Miss.

Colorado State: The Rams have earned a Top 25 ranking for the second time in three seasons under Eustachy. … Avila has scored in double figures in each of the first 12 games. … The Rams improved to 15-4 in December under Eustachy. … Colorado State began the week as one of nine unbeaten teams in the nation.

UP NEXT

Charleston Southern hosts Johnson (Tenn.) next Monday.

Colorado State plays at New Mexico State on Saturday.

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