Drive the lane

Drive the lane

Although the men’s basketball team whipped up its own meatloaf dinner at Central Market on Wednesday night, it will leave that home cooking behind Saturday against Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo.

Head coach Neil Dougherty said a victory Saturday would be a huge confidence booster for his team, which plays in a tough road conference.

“It’s difficult to play in these arenas, and that doesn’t get talked about enough,” Dougherty said. “There’s no easy game in the Mountain West to go play in, and if you look at the win-loss percentage for the entire conference home and away, it backs that up.”

Winning on the road in conference play is key to staying in the mix in the conference race, Dougherty said.

“You’ve got to win your games at home and steal as many on the road as you can, and that’s how we look at it,” Dougherty said. “We have an opportunity to go and steal one from someone else.”

Senior guard Brent Hackett said his experience in tough road arenas around the conference will help his teammates.

“There are a lot of guys who haven’t seen tough gyms (in the conference),” Hackett said. “I think I can bring the experience I have at those places and know some of the things we should and shouldn’t do in those situations.”

Colorado State (8-10, 0-2) has lost its last three games and seven of its last eight, though they are 4-1 against TCU since the Frogs joined the Mountain West.

The Rams are led by junior guard Marcus Walker, whose 16.8 points per game ranks second in the conference.

The Frogs, meanwhile, are winners of their last two, largely behind the play of junior newcomer Henry Salter.

“He’s been making a lot of shots, and I’m just trying to stay out of his way,” Hackett said. “I’m trying to be as aggressive as I can and play the team role.”

Senior guard Ryan Wall, who delivered the game winning shot against New Mexico, said winning on the road is big for the team.

“We haven’t won on the road in over a year, so it’s always good to get one on the road,” Wall said. “And a win is a win.”

Wall did not say which group’s meatloaf was the best.

“I think ours looked the best, but I’m not sure whose tasted the best,” he said.