March 4, 2014
SAN JOSE, Calif. – In a game that saw a lot of back-and-forth action, Colorado State enjoyed a one-point lead just twice in the second half. The Rams made a late run, but couldn’t convert in the end, falling 65-64 at the Event Center Tuesday.
The Spartans’ Rebecca Woodberry, who made her last 50 free throws, was called upon to seal the win for SJSU with just 4.2 seconds to go. She missed both attempts, and the Rams got the ball. Alicia Nichols passed the ball off to Elin Gustavsson who got the shot up, well beyond the three-point line, but it wouldn’t fall.
The loss doesn’t hurt the Rams, who fall to 22-6 overall, and 14-3 in league play. The Spartans improve to 11-17 overall and 5-12 in the Mountain West.
“We weren’t tough enough around the rim,” commented Head Coach Ryun Williams. “We played with a tremendous amount of softness around the basket. We needed those. The problem was the offense, not the defense. Tonight we just didn’t play with the toughness we needed to on that end.”
Playing in front of a large contingent of her friends and family, AJ Newton got off to a hot start, with the first six points for Colorado State. The Rams shot just 25.6 percent in the first frame, but found a little success from beyond the arc, with a .444 conversion rate, keeping them within arms’ length of the Spartans at the halftime buzzer.
Elin Gustavsson got off to a rough start from the field, missing some key layups in the first half. She was stellar defensively, however, with a team-high 10 rebounds.
CSU’s shooting woes continued into the second stanza, while SJSU found its groove from the field in the second half. Nevertheless, the Rams continued hang on, pulling within one on big-game performances from Sam Martin and Ellen Nystrom, who tallied 17 and 13 points, respectively.
“I’m proud that we put ourselves in a position to win the game,” added Williams. “I’m really proud of that, but we shouldn’t have been in that situation.”
Head Coach Ryun Williams was nailed with a technical late in the game while trying to call a timeout.
Colorado State will wrap up the regular season at Moby in the second chapter of the home-and-home series vs. Wyoming. The Rams will celebrate seniors Sam Martin, Alicia Nichols and Hayley Thompson during the pregame festivities.
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