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Colorado State 88 – Utah State 78 (Women)

January 16, 2014

I had the opportunity to attend the game tonight and was treated to a virtuoso first half performance as the Lady Rams passed, shot, rebounded, and defended their way to a 53-30 first half on their way to an easy victory over the visiting Aggettes of Utah State.

The Rams began the game in a 2-3 zone and played it to perfection, forcing turnovers and holding their opponent scoreless beyond the first media timeout. They led 19-14 when they began the decisive 13-0 run, field by a run of three three-pointers by diminutive guard AJ Newton. They continued to pummel the Aggies inside and out as Caitlin Duffy heated up from the outside and bigs Elin Gustavsson and Sam Martin dominated the paint.

The onslaught continued in the second half as the Rams built their lead to as many as 31 before Coach Ryun Williams began to substitute liberally. In the end the final score flattered the Aggies as they played several starters till the bitter end and used a full court press to go on a huge run to end the game.

The final numbers for the Lady Rams were incredible. Three players recorded double-doubles. Ellen Nystrom with 16 points and 11 rebounds, Sam Martin with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and guard Gritt Ryder with 10 points and 14 assists. Caitlin Duffy came off the bench to lead the Rams with 20 points and Gustavsson added 16.

Other stuff…

I congratulated Coach Ryun Williams on the victory and told him “I don’t think your team could play any better than they did in that first half”. He responded with typical coach talk” Well we missed some layups and….”. To which I said that you got a lot of rebounds and putbacks on those missed layups. He smiled in agreement that they had been damn good against a pretty solid Utah State team.

I told him I really liked Gritt Ryder’s game and he called her his Peyton Manning – smart, in control, and a great passer.

It’s obvious he’s building something really good in Fort Collins. The 12-4 record is tangible proof. The quality of the play to produce that record is well beyond anything seen from any post Tom Collen coached teams. Still some work to do but it’s a squad that a fan could fall in love with.

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