Dec. 16, 2012
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Colorado State fought until the very end Sunday afternoon, overcoming a 13-point deficit, to pick up a 56-54 win over CSU Bakersfield at Moby Arena.
The Rams (3-6) began the game slowly, Bakersfield (2-9) leading by 13 points during the first half, and Colorado State went into halftime down by nine. The Roadrunners shot a 45.5 percent from the three-point arc during the first half of the game, outshooting the Rams, who had yet to make a three.
Colorado State came back with a 12-2 run to start the second half. The lead changed six times within the last seven minutes as the Rams and Roadrunners exchanged baskets until 8 seconds remained on the clock. With Bakersfield leading 54-53, freshman Caitlin Duffy went up for a layup and drew the foul, making her first shot and missing her second with the score knotted at 54. Junior Sam Martin grabbed the rebound on her teammates missed free-throw attempt and went up to the basket, again drawing the foul. Martin sank both free-throws, and Colorado State led 56-54 with 4.8 seconds left in the game.
"Actually free throws have always been my strong point, and you have to shoot a free-throw the same every time," Martin said. "Every time you step to the free-throw line, you can't even think about the score. You have to think about your shot."
Caitlin Duffy led the Rams with a career high 22 points, also recording four rebounds and two assists. Duffy is the first player this season to score over 20 points in a game. She shot an impressive 83.3 percent from the free-throw line, making 5-of-6.
"She doesn't overthink it," Head Coach Ryun Williams commented on Duffy. "She just goes out there and plays. You see it when she steps back and hits a three. She has a 15-footer and she takes it. She sees an open driving lane and she takes it. And as a freshman, she is our go-to player. You can see that she is a younger player and has a lot of room for improvement, as you can see by a couple of plays there at the end, but she is becoming our go-to player."
The Rams turned things around from the line, hitting shots when it mattered most in the second half, shooting 90.9 percent in the second frame.
Sam Martin added 14 points to the board while also recording seven rebounds, six of which were offensive, and three blocks.
Senior Meghan Heimstra returned after being out the past two games due to a head injury. Heimstra recorded seven rebounds, six points, three blocks, and tied her career high steals with five.
CSU Bakersfield's Janae Coffee, who averages 11.0 rebounds per game, pulled down just three boards as the Rams defense double-teamed her every chance they had, causing Coffee to turn the ball over five times.
The Rams three-point percentage was at a season low, shooting just 7.7 percent as Duffy was the only player to make a three-point shot in the contest.
"Sooner or later, they are going to fall," Williams said. "I think one night we need this place to light up like a Christmas tree in order to get out of our funk. Maybe that's Thursday night?"
The Rams will remain at home as they face in-state foe University of Denver on Thursday Dec. 20. The Rams are 15-8 against the Pioneers, 10-3 in Fort Collins. The Rams fell to DU last season 64-61. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT.
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