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Colorado State 95 – San Diego State 48 (Women)

February 2, 2014

I’m not sure why I put (Women) in the title. Anybody who follows the Rams knows it couldn’t be the men because they couldn’t score 95 in an empty gym.

But I digress.

I was present for the first half only as the Lady Rams ran, shot, and defended their way to a 47-26 halftime lead over the visiting Aztecs.

These would be the mid table 4-3 Aztecs who the Lady Rams only defeated by 3 just a few weeks ago in Viejas.

It was a close affair at the start as both teams shot well against each others’ 2-3 zone. A pair of early buckets by the Aztecs’ Danesha Long were countered by the Rams Swedes Elin Gustavvson and Ellen Nystrom.

And then it happened.

While large snowflakes fell outside the arena, three-balls started to rain for the Lady Rams. One by one, they took their turns. One by one, they made them.

First it was diminutive guard AJ Newton. Bam!

Then Gritt Ryder on an inbounds play after a media TO. Bam!

Newton again. Bam!

MWC 6th Man of thenYear leading candidate Kaitlin Duffy. Bam!

Newton again. Bam!

Senior center Sam Martin stepping out to the perimeter. Bam!

Newton again. Bam!

Duffy again. Bam!

By the time the first half buzzer had sounded, the Lady Rams had shot 9-17 from beyond the arc. They had also found a way to score some easy baskets in transition and score some easy baskets out of,their motion offense when San Diego State decided to switch from zone to man-to-man defense.

At the buzzer, the Rams had out scored the Aztecs 12-4 in the paint. And why was that significant? It was because San Diego State had one area of advantage on paper over the Lady Rams. Their height and their butts. Some very big butts. Butts that are hard to keep out of the lane and hard to keep off the offensive glass. But the interior defense of the Rams, led by Sam Martin in the center and the two Swedes on the wings was outstanding. They limited their opponents to 5-22 shooting in,the interior and grabbed most of their rebounding opportunities.

Combine that with intelligent double teaming and scrapping for,every 50/50 ball and the Lady Rams found their way to a 12-4 advantage in points off turnovers.

There haven’t been many halves played in Moby any better than the first half.

Until the second half.
Which I missed.

The Lady Rams won the second half 48-22 and that includes Coach Ryun Williams starting to clear the bench at the under 12 media timeout.

The three point onslaught continued and the defense forced the Lady Aztecs into repeated turnovers.

It was bam, bam, bam led by AJ Newton with 3 more, Reserves Gabby Frykbo and Hanne Mestdagh with a pair each, and singles by Sam Martin, Caitlin Duffy, and Hayley Thompson. A total of 10 in the second half from beyond the perimeter.

For the game, the Lady Rams shot a Moby Gym and school record 19 of 35 from beyond the arc, led by AJ Newton’s 7-10. The good shooting produced a remarkable 31 assists and only 9 turnovers.

Newton was to end the game with 23 points and 7 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, and 0 turnovers in 27 minutes of floor time. Listed generously in the program at 5’3″, she was the shortest player on the floor. But today there was no one bigger.

Other thought…

First of all, how much do you think this team has grown on me when I knew I only had time to attend one half before I had to head out? Combine that with crummy streets. But the product is worth seeing even for 20 minutes.

As one fellow Ram fan texted me during the game,

“I feel like I’m stealing for the price of this.”

The Lady Rams moved their record to a league-leading 8-1 in the MWC. A year ago, they were 3-6 at this point with a pair of losses to San Diego State, one of them at home to the tune of 48-44. Amazing to think they could be 51 points better in only one season!

People are starting to catch on as the announced crowd was a little over 1600. Still a long way to go before Moby is filled but at least there is some progress on ten attendance front.

Next home game up is a Pink Out game vs Air Force on Saturday at noon. Many of girls broke in their pink Under Armour runners vs SDSU. Obviously they are great shooting shoes!

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