CSURAMS.COM CSU women fall to Valpo, 64-53 - Colorado State University Official Athletic Site Colorado State University Official Athletic Site - Women's Basketball
CSU women fall to Valpo, 64-53

Nov. 28, 2008

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

By Danny Mattie
Athletic Media Relations

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado State women’s basketball team was slow to find an offensive rhythm on Friday night in against Valparaiso.  The Crusaders held the Rams to just 29.8 percent from the field, and came away with a 64-53 win in the first round of the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational in front of 1,028 fans at Moby Arena.       

“We seemed out of synch offensively tonight,” said Head Coach Kristen Holt.  “I just didn’t feel like our movement was efficient.  That’s just something we’re going to have to get better at.” 

Despite the Rams’ early offensive woes, however, the CSU remained in the contest thanks to a strong defensive effort in the first 20 minutes, holding Valpo – who entered the game averaging nearly 75 points per contest - to just 29.2 percent shooting and 21 halftime points. 

“Knowing coming into this game that (Valparaiso) was so good offensively, I was really happy with what we did against them, holding them to 21 points,” added Holt.  “You can’t ask for much more than that defensively.” 

Just more than 10 minutes into the contest, Valpo held a 5-2 advantage over the Rams, before both teams found any sort of offensive rhythm.  After Valparaiso jumped out to a 14-6 lead at the 6:28 mark of the opening stanza, Colorado State scored 10 of the next 12 points – including six points from junior forward Juanise Cornell to take its first and only lead of the contest, 18-16 with 1:15 left in the half. 

Nine seconds later, Valpo guard Agnieszka Kulaga – who finished with a game-high 20 points – tied the game at 18 with a pair of free throws, and a 3-pointer by the Crusaders’ second-leading scorer, Aimee Litka (14 points), gave the Rams a 3-point halftime deficit that they would never recover from. 

Following a Cornell layup at the 18:31 mark of the second half that made the score 23-21, another Kulaga 3-pointer sparked a 16-5 Valpo run that put CSU in a 15-point hole with 11:49 left in the game.  The Rams were never able to pull closer than nine points for the remainder of the game, eventually falling 64-53. 

Cornell led the Rams with 11 points and added six rebounds before fouling out of the game.  Senior forward Amaka Uzomah recorded her first double-digit rebounding game of the season, tying Valpo’s Lauren Kenney for top honors with 10 boards.  Freshman forward Meghan Heimstra recorded career-highs in both points (7) and rebounds (4) for the Rams. 

Defensively, the Rams recorded six blocks and notched a season-best six steals, but Valparaiso opened up its second-half lead thanks in part to a 30-20 advantage in points in the paint.  

Overall, Valparaiso shot 37.5 percent from the field, whole holding CSU under 30 percent.  The Crusaders also shot 33.3 percent from long range, compared with an uncharacteristically low 15 percent for CSU.  Valparaiso also held the rebounding edge, 42-39. 

Valparaiso now moves on to face Florida State for the 2008 Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational Championships, tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Moby Arena.  The Seminoles (5-1) advanced by virtue of an 85-50 victory over Murray State (2-3) in Friday’s first game.  The Rams and the Racers will play, with third place on the line, at 7 p.m. MT, or 30 minutes after the completion of the championship contest. 


 

 

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