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And the CSU Women Just Keep Winning!

January 28, 2016

I don’t blog much on games that I don’t see with my own eyes.  I can’t get as much of a feel for a game by watching it on TV or listening on the radio and without that feel I don’t think I have much added value.

But I felt compelled to comment a little on the CSU Women and their remarkable win at San Jose State last evening.

San Jose State is a bit of a bogey team for the Rams.  They scraped a win two years ago in San Jose and they knocked the favored  Rams out of the MWC Tourney in Las Vegas last year.  Ryun Williams squad has lost 8 games to MWC opponents in the past 2+ seasons.  And two of them have been to the Spartans.

The Rams had jumped out to a 24-18 first quarter lead but were steamrolled in the second quarter to the tune of 24-11..  San Jose pushed the lead and the Rams closed to trail by 2 at the end of 3.

The Spartans pushed the lead back up to 6 and it looked like it might not be the Rams’ night.  But the team clad in Green and Gold continued to play with poise and crept back in.  A three ball by Hannah Tvdry, an Ellen Nystrom jumper, a pair of short jumpers by Keyora Wharry, three the hard way and from the perimeter by Elie Gustavsson and the Rams had pushed their collective noses to the front.

San Jose State countered to take a one point lead inside of two minutes.

And then the least likely hero emerged.

Emilie Hesseldal is a 6’1″ forward who leads the Rams in rebounding, often draws the toughest interior defensive match-up, and is also asked to initiate the offense by bringing the ball up court.  She is the consummate team player.  She rarely looks to score.

And on this night she was doing her thing,  She had 11 rebounds and 6 assists and had only taken two shots through the first 38+ minutes.

At the moment of truth, she took a pass and nailed an elbow jumper to push the Rams back into the lead at 78-77.

San Jose State tied it at 78 on a free throw and the Rams had the ball again.  They worked the ball around the perimeter and it found its way into Hesseldal’s hands once again.  A shot fake, one dribble, another 15′ jumper…

Swish!

80-78 and the Rams held on from there.

Jamie Patrick had led the Rams in scoring through three quarters but San Jose State made a concerted effort to shut her down in the 4th.  They held her to 0 but every other Ram on the floor showed the balance that this team possesses.  Wharry finished with 16, Gustavsson with 14, Nystrom with 12, and Tvrdy with 7 off the bench.

Last week I was talking to Jamie about stuff and she mentioned that she wished they could win games more easily. From a fan perspective, blowouts are a lot easier on the stomach, but I told her I thought it was good for them to play close games because of who they are and how they play.  They really know how to play with the effort, intelligence, and poise required to win a close game.

With the win the Rams moved to 17-1 for the season and 7-0 in the conference.  Their regular season record in the MWC over the last 2+ seasons is an incredible 37-6.

Next game up is Wyoming on Saturday in Moby.  Border War. Orange Out.  Can’t wait.

These girls can play!

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