Colorado State trailed Loyola Marymount at halftime but pulled away in the second half for its 35th straight home-opening win, 83-75. The Rams got 21 points for Gian Clavell and 19 from Emmanuel Omogbo, but one of the best teammates CSU had on Thursday night were the boys in black and white.
The officials called 30 fouls on the Lions, resulting in a 32-for-42 showing at the free-throw line for Colorado State. Eustachy was particularly upset that tight whistles prevented Loyola forward Adom Jacko from impacting the game because of foul trouble.
“Loyola played without their best player. These rules, that’s why I’m such a proponent against them,” Eustachy told reporters after the game, via the Rocky Mount Collegian. “This young man, who we recruited, didn’t graduate from junior college in two years so he went back and got his associate’s degree and worked his tail off. He becomes Division I-eligible, and he was flat eliminated from that game and all the hard work he did to get into that game by ridiculous fouls.”
Jacko, a new addition from Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., scored 39 points in his first two games for the Lions but fouled out midway through the second half with just two points and one steal in 11 minutes of action.
“He didn’t deserve that, and I told him that after the game,” Eustachy said. “One time he had his hands straight up, and I felt really bad for him. I feel really bad for these guys who did what he just did. Everything he did to get on to this court, and he might as well have not come. He shouldn’t have come. He should of stayed home. It’s sad.”
It’s not often that you hear coaches criticize some calls that work out in their favor, but Eustachy could be using this early-season game as an opportunity to call out his issues with the new points of emphasis in officiating.
Foul trouble absolutely played a big part in Loyola falling behind in the loss, but I wonder if the same complaints would be made if that was a MWC foe and this was late February. Then again, there are plenty of skeptics who believe these latest points of emphasis will be replaced by the “same old officiating” by the time we get into conference play.