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Colorado State 96 – New Mexico Highlands 31

December 12, 2016

A game against a lower level D-2 opponent and the result was never going to be in doubt.  And so the game was more of a test for the Lady Rams to start regaining their form after Colorado had so easily dispatched them three nights earlier.

Make no mistake about it, the loss to CU had been a painful one.  Not because of the score but because of how it had gotten away from them.  In that game the Rams trailed by 7, then opened the second half playing as good as they can play.  They were shutting the Buffs down defensively and creating open looks on the offensive end.  The problem was that they were missing all of their open looks.  Four wide open three’s and two missed layups.  Play that could have produced a lead resulted in nothing and when the Buffs got a little traction they put the game away convincingly.

The biggest positive to come out of the CU game was that sophomore Callie Kaiser had come off the bench and played her best game ever as a Ram. The Broomfield native scored 17 points and it was her fearless, attacking style that really drew attention.

SO much so that she was moved into the starting lineup vs Highlands, replacing Veronika Mirkovic.  

And Kaiser rewarded Rams fans with her stellar play scoring 20, recording 9 rebounds and 8 assists.  Her addition gave the Rams more energy on both ends of the floor. Sure the opponent was inferior, but the Rams were playing faster and looser.

And by the time the game was over, the Rams had made a school record 20 three-balls on only 33 attempts. And tied a school record with their 21st consecutive home victory.

This is not last years Rams squad that had four outstanding seniors. Its a younger team led by the fabulous Swedes Ellen Nystrom and Elin Gustavsson.  Hannah Tvrdy has emerged as a steady contributor night in and night out and she would score 17 tonight.  But its been a team searching for other players to step up and become solid performers.  

Callie Kaiser has shown over the last two games that shes ready to take that next step from role bench player to significant contributor.

And that is a huge step as the Rams are nearly through their non-conference schedule and about to begin the long road toward the prize that they have won the last three seasons – the Mountain West Conference regular season title.

They have enough quality and quantity to do just that.  Its time for others on the squad to follow Kaiser’s lead and join her, Nystrom, Gustavsson, and Tvrdy.

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