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Colorado State 73 – Utah State 42 (Women)

January 22, 2017

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Fort Collins, I spent it indoors with some of my favorite fans and was treated to a wonderful display of basketball.

The Rams conducted a 40-minute clinic in motion and ball movement on the offensive end and active and intelligent defense on the defensive end as they stormed their way to a comprehensive win over the visiting Aggies of Utah State.  

The game began well for Utah State as their sharpshooting wing Rachel Brewster shot them into an 11-10 lead midway through the first quarter. Brewster had 8 of those 11.  The Rams were scoring easily at the rim but taking some quick three’s rather than patiently working the ball.

And then the Rams took over.

They outscored the Aggies 29-4 over the next 15 minutes.  The layup line continued but shots started falling from the perimeter.  A third foul had Brewster saying hello to the bench for the Aggies and without a perimeter shooter, the Rams 2-3 zone was stifling.

By the time the half ended (with a block by CSU big Anna Dreimane who was inserted in the game to do exactly that), the Rams had shot 64% and held their opponents to 23%.

Utah State came out very late for the second half, no doubt hearing an earful from their coach about their effort.  Within a minute, the Aggies took a timeout as obviously the Aggies hadnt heard what he was telling them about how he wanted to attack the Rams defense.  The Aggies played better in the second half but the fina 20 minutes were a formality as the Rams continued to plunder them both inside and out.

How good was the basketball the Rams had played?

Offensively, the Rams had 24 assists on 30 made baskets against only 7 turnovers. An assist to turnover ratio of 1.5:1 is considered strong in the womens game. Today they were 3.5:1.  The leader was the usual suspect Ellen Nystrom with 9 assists (one of which was from 3/4 court to a reasonably defended Callie Kaiser that would have made Nick Stevens proud), but Elie Gustavsson had 5, and Hannah Tvrdy and Callie Kaiser had 4 each.

Gustavsson and Nystrom plundered the Aggies inside and out, shooting 18-23 from the field including 3-4 from beyond the arc.  Gustavsson had a game high 22 points and Nystrom had 20.  

Defensively, the Rams held Utah State to 43 points on 31% shooting.  The Rams forced 17 turnover, many of which led to easy runouts.

The win moved the Rams’ record to 14-5 and 6-1 in the MWC.  Still a lot of games to be played but the prize of an MWC Regular Season COnference Championship is still very much in their sights.

The Fabulous Swedes

At halftime, there was a double-double alert issued for both Elie Gustavsson and Ellen Nystrom. 

 Gustavsson completed hers as she ended the game with 22 points and 12 rebounds, earning her the honor of having her picture taken with me post-game ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€.   

Nystrom would finish the game with 20 points and 9 assists but the Moby official scorers missed one of the most extraordinary assists you’ll ever see.  A pass went to Nystrom cutting to the basket and Utah defenders swarmed her. She realized she wouldnt be able to catch the ball and instead pounded the ball 25′ to an open Callie Kaiser in the corner who drained a three-ball.  Amazing athletic talent and court awareness by Nystrom but no assist by the official scorekeeper.

Dumb decision. 

It was an assist.

And for that I will temporarily be calling our Fabulous Swedes the Dub-Dub Girls.

The Dub-Dub Girls

They now possess a career record of 54-7 in MWC games.

I’m going to be doing some research on this but they are about to become the winningest players in the history of the MWC for both men and women if they arent there already.

I am so grateful they have let me come into their house on these winter days in Fort Collins over these past four years.  Their quality of play continues to be extraordinary.

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