Jan. 11, 2014
FRESNO, Calif. – Costly turnovers and poor shooting were to blame for a 60-50 loss at the Save Mart Center Saturday.
The loss is the Rams’ (11-4, 3-1 MW) first on the road this season. The Bulldogs improve to 9-5 and 4-0 in the league, and maintain first place in the standings. The final tally of 50 points is the lowest CSU has scored all year.
The Rams got off to a fast start, shooting 50.0 percent, with a seven-point lead nearing the midway point of the first frame, but from there they went cold. Fresno State took advantage, going on a 13-0 run. The Bulldogs took a 13-point lead into the locker room at the half.
“We just didn’t handle their pressure as well as we should have,” commented Head Coach Ryun Williams. “I think the decision making was the big part (today). They got the game sped up a little bit, which was fine. We wanted to attack when opportunities presented themselves. We missed those opportunities, and then sometimes we forced the attack when we shouldn’t have been attacking. Our judgment and our decision making was crucial.”
Twice this season CSU has overcame 13-point deficits to win, and the Rams came out into the second stanza with that in mind, opening the half on an 8-2 run, shooting 80.0 percent. Then the shooting bug struck again, this time for both teams. For 3 minutes, neither team could convert, plummeting the Rams second-half shooting percentage to .364. Colorado State shot .353 on the afternoon.
The Rams defense was stalwart in the final 20 minutes, forcing the Bulldogs to throw up bad shots to avoid a shot clock violation on three consecutive possessions.
CSU gave up nine turnovers in the first half, to which Fresno State scored 16 points. The Rams ended up with 15 on the day, surpassing their average of 11.9, the most since the Rams gave away 19 vs. Weber State. Gritt Ryder, who was third in the Mountain West in assist-to-turnover ratio, had a rare off-day, with nine giveaways.
Freshman Ellen Nystrom continued her scoring streak, with 17 points on the day for her seventh game of the year in double figures. Sam Martin added a quiet 10 to CSU’s score, while AJ Newton had nine points.
Colorado State returns home for a matchup against another undefeated team in Utah State (8-5, 2-0 MW) Wednesday at 7 p.m. MT. The Aggies host Nevada tonight at 7 p.m.
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