March 9, 2013
RENO, Nev. – A late put-back from Hayley Thompson proved to be the winner over Nevada, 53-51, at the Lawlor Events Center Saturday night.
The win was the Rams’ (11-18, 7-9 MW) third on the road this year and the third in Mountain West action. Three road wins is the most CSU victories away from Moby in league play since 2002. Nevada closed out the regular season at 7-22 overall, with a 2-14 mark in league play.
“I thought we had some fight,” commented Head Coach Ryun Williams. “There was some urgency, some March Madness. I think we made it really difficult on each other to score. Our kids did a really good job in some urgent situations. I thought they engaged in the fight pretty well all night tonight. It was nice to see them compete.”
Nevada opened the contest firing shots from beyond the arc, scoring its first nine points from three-point range, but through two Wolf Pack scoring droughts of nearly 6 and 2.5 minutes, the Rams took advantage, increasing their lead to as many as seven in the first frame.
CSU elongated its lead to double figures early in the second, but the Rams scored just four points in nearly an 8-minute span, allowing the Wolf Pack to take the lead with 4 minutes remaining. Alicia Nichols went to the line twice, shooting 2-of-4 to knot the game at 51 with 1 minute to play.
An offensive board gave Nevada possession for 40 seconds in the final minute, but with quick hands, Ladeyah Forte stole the ball and ran down the court for the layup. She missed it, but Hayley Thompson was there for the put back. The Wolf Pack had the final 18 seconds, but they were unable to convert.
Mandy Makeever scored a career-high 12 points, converting four threes. Meghan Heimstra led the team with 13, Nichols tallied 10, while Hayley Thompson corralled 11 of the glass, also a career high.
“I know coming out of the first media timeout, Coach Williams told me focus on rebounding on the weak side,” said Hayley Thompson. “I know it’s something that I can contribute to the team when I’m having an off-shooting night.”
The Rams out-rebounded the Wolf Pack on the offensive glass for the first time this season in MW play 12-10. CSU was able to make use, scoring 17 second chance points.
The Rams, whose fate was decided earlier in the week on Wednesday, have earned the sixth seed in the Reese’s Mountain West Basketball Tournament and will face No. 3 Wyoming for the second time in three games on Thursday. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:35 p.m. MT.
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