Dec. 1, 2013
HONOLULU, Hawai’i – The Colorado State women’s basketball team relinquished a 14-point lead in the second half to a deep Chattanooga squad. The Rams fell 59-57 in their final game of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Warrior Showdown on Sunday.
The Rams are now 4-3 on the year, while Chattanooga improves to 5-3. Both teams finished the tournament with 1-2 records. Caitlin Duffy earned all-tournament honors for averaging 13.0 points and 6.3 boards over the past three games.
Colorado State held as much as a 14-point lead midway through the second stanza, but UTC refused to back down, taking advantage of CSU’s turnovers on a 14-3 run, retaking the lead with 1 minute left to play. Tied up at 57 in the final 60 seconds, Newton turned the ball over giving Chattanooga the ball. Newton then got called for an intentional foul, sending the Mocs to the line. They hit both free throws and maintained possession. CSU got the ball with 0.8 seconds on the clock, and threw a deep pass in to Ellen Nystrom who got a three-point shot up, but it was short.
“Our decision making was really poor by our guards,” commented Head Coach Ryun Williams. “We had eight second-half turnovers and it seemed like they all came in that last 8 or 9 minutes. (We were) just trying to force it into places you didn’t need to force it. I’m disappointed in our brains down the stretch.”
The Rams had three players in double figures. Ellen Nystrom climbed out of her recent slump with 11 points on the day, despite missing minutes for being in foul trouble. Fellow freshman Elin Gustavsson also scored double digits with 12, while pulling down a career-high nine rebounds. AJ Newton registered 12 points, and Sam Martin was one point short of a double-double with nine points and 10 boards.
CSU was hot early, shooting 50.0 percent from three-point range. The Rams opened the contest on a 13-2 run, burying four consecutive shots from beyond the arc. Through the first 20 minutes of play the team converted seven of its 14 three-point shot attempts.
“That first 20 was as locked in on both ends of the floors as we’ve been all year,” added Williams. “We just had them standing and they had nothing. We moved the ball and played clean offensively. We had a lot of good shots, shooting with confidence. It was a great first half.”
Colorado State will return home to Moby Arena for a matchup vs. Loyola Marymount (1-6) on Thursday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT. For tickets visit CSURams.com or call 1-800-491-RAMS.