March 7, 2014
By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Colorado State women's basketball team (23-6, 15-3 MW) concluded one of the program's most successful regular seasons on Friday night with a 58-46 win over Border War rival Wyoming (19-10, 10-8 MW) at Moby Arena in front of 3,119 fans who were in attendance to cheer on CSU's three seniors one last time.
"This was a great win for our seniors," Head Coach Ryun Williams said. "I'm really proud of what they have done for this program and how they have been so important to turning this program around."
With the win, the Rams finished 14-1 at Moby Arena, marking the most home wins for the program since the 2002-03 campaign, and improved their winning streak to 13 games in front of their home fans, fourth most all-time. The 3,119 fans also mark the highest attendance Colorado State has had all season.
Freshman guard Ellen Nystrom led all scorers with 20 points on 9-12 shooting, and also tallied six rebounds, four assists and four steals. Junior guard Gritt Ryder was second on the team in scoring, finishing with 15 points, six rebounds and six assists, while senior forward Sam Martin concluded her playing career at Moby Arena with a 12-point, five rebound effort against the Cowgirls.
"It's been a great four years, and to end it like this just means everything to me," Martin said.
The Rams shot 43 percent from the field against Wyoming, but relied heavily on their great defensive play to propel the team to the victory. The Cowgirls were held to just 35 percent shooting, including 1-10 from three-point distance, and were forced into 19 turnovers which Colorado State converted into 20 points.
CSU was especially effective with its play on junior forward Kayla Woodward, who came into the game ranking third in the conference with 17.4 points per game.
Utilizing the defensive matchups of Nystrom, Ryder and sophomore guard Caitlin Duffy, the Rams held Woodward scoreless for just the second time in her career, as the junior forward went 0-7 from the field.
"To hold Woodward to zero points tonight is impressive," Williams said. "We just wanted to turn ourselves loose and go compete."
Ryder was instrumental on the defensive end for CSU with four steals and two blocks, while Martin tallied four blocks as the Rams made it impossible for Wyoming to get in a groove with eight blocks and nine steals as a team.
Along with points off of turnovers, Colorado State held a significant advantage on the interior, outscoring the Cowgirls 34-24 in the paint.
After the game, CSU's three seniors, Martin, Alicia Nichols and Hayley Thompson were all honored for their key contributions over their careers, and the team was presented with the Mountain West Trophy, after winning the regular-season Mountain West title for the first time since 2001-02.
The Rams enter the Mountain West Conference Tournament as the No. 1 seed and receive a first-round bye before traveling to Las Vegas to take on the winner of the No.8/9 matchup between Utah State and New Mexico on Tuesday at 11 p.m. MT. The game will be streamed on the Mountain West Network.
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