Nov. 17, 2012
By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Playing in front of their home crowd at Moby Arena, the Colorado State Rams (2-1) were able to notch a victory over the Seattle Redhawks (0-3), 58-55.
"We made just enough plays," Head Coach Ryun Williams said. "Defensively, we were outstanding. I was really proud of the winning plays we made late."
The Rams controlled the game from the opening tip. After taking an early 5-4 lead, Colorado State never relinquished its lead. Late in the first half, the Rams used an 8-2 run to extend their lead to eight points and gain momentum heading into the second half.
CSU utilized tough perimeter defense in the first half, holding the Redhawks to just 21.7 percent shooting. The Rams also forced 12 turnovers in the first half which they capitalized into nine points.
Leading the way for the defense was freshman guard Taylor Varsho, who finished the game with a team-high two steals. Colorado State's defense kept junior forward Kacie Sowell in check for much of the night. Coming into the match averaging 20.5 points per game and 12.7 rebounds per game, Sowell was held to just 10 points and seven rebounds.
On offense, junior forward Sam Martin had eight points and four rebounds in the first half. Martin finished the game with 14 points and 10 rebounds, her first double-double of the season and just the eighth of her career.
With a six point lead at halftime, the Rams kept the pressure on Seattle in the beginning of the second half. CSU extended the lead to as much as 15 points, at 44-29. With just over five minutes left in the game, the Rams still held on to a 14 point lead, but the Redhawks would come charging back.
Led by junior forward Ashley Ward, Seattle turned up its defensive pressure and began knocking down open shots. Ward was only 2-8 from the field, but constantly put the Rams in foul trouble and made 15 of her 17 free throws, to finish with a game-high 20 points.
Sophomore forward Kara Spotton made sure to answer the call for Colorado State, going 8-12 from the field and finishing the game with a team-high 16 points to go along with her five rebounds.
"Spotton is really talented," Williams said. "She's learning how to operate in the positions we're putting her in, and she's playing with great confidence. She played magnificently tonight."
Playing in her first career game, freshman Caitlin Duffy was called upon to make an impact. Duffy answered that call, scoring eight of her 10 points in the final period as well as tallying seven rebounds and five assists for the game.
"For her first game, to be thrown in that fire, I though Duffy was crucial," Williams said. "I don't think we would have won that game if we didn't have Duffy on that floor tonight. She's a really good ball handler and a good decision maker."
Seattle trimmed the lead all the way to one point, 56-55 with just 10 seconds left in the game, but Varsho was able to ice it for the Rams. Varsho made her first free throw, and after missing the second one, was able to chase down the rebound to secure the win.
Colorado State will host Toledo next on Tuesday. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. MT.
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