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Colorado State 62 – New Mexico 50 (Women)

January 6, 2014

So I decided to wander over to Moby Arena to catch the girls game rather than putting up with Joe Buck and a histrionic broadcast of an NFL playoff game.

And it’s safe to say I went with a little trepidation since the Rams had lost the last two women’s events I had attended. The first was the heartbreaking basketball loss to CU. The second was the only regular season loss by the volleyball team. I had no argument if a Jack Graham and Company had decided to prevent my entry.

But they didn’t and the result was being treated to a very solid victory by the Rams who played unselfishly on the offensive and defended the heck out of the Lobos, especially in the second half.

The win was the Rams 6th straight and moved their season record to 10-3. And they stand in a tie at the top of the MWC at 2-0 for the first time in I don’t know how long. The streak of 6 games is the longest in something like 12 years. Hard to be believe that a program that rode the wave of Becky Hammon to Top 10 rankings way back when would go so long to compile such a streak.

The Rams were led by senior Sam Martin who had a double-double (14 and 10) but it was balanced scoring as three others finished in double figures.

They had watched an early 11-4 lead melt into a 26-21 deficit when the best sequence of plays occurred. A Caitlin Duffy rebound of her own three-point miss led to a beautiful assist from Ellen to Elin (Nystrom to Gustavsson). It was followed by a steal at the defensive end leading to a halfcourt over-the-top pass from Gritt to Elin for another lay-in. The Rams continued their run to close out the half with a 33-28 lead.

The Lobos scored on their first possession of the second half to close to 3 but that was the closest they would get as the Rams held them to 12 points over the next 15 minutes, running their lead to 56-42. A late Loboette push cut the lead to 9 until Ellen Nystrom used her length to steal the ball on the wing leading to a Martin putback on the subsequent possession. The Rams then closed out the game professionally from the free throw line.

Other Thoughts

The Rams had more assists than turnovers, something you don’t see a lot of in the woman’s game. The backcourt of AJ Newton and Gritt Ryder is very good about protecting the basketball.

Gritt Ryder played all 40 minutes for the Rams and is indispensable on the court. Halfway during the first half I sent a text message to someone pronouncing my love for the chubby blonde #11.

One last thought – you would be hard-pressed to find a better coaching staff in all of d-1. Ryun Williams has brought a Tim Miles like energy and ability to the head coaching position but there are two assistants on this team, Tim Moser and Chad Lavin, that have both been successful head women’s basketball coaches. It shows in how well this team is prepared and how well they play.

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