Jan. 30, 2014
Colorado State vs. San Diego State | Game 20
Feb. 1 | 2 p.m. MT | Fort Collins, Colo. | Moby Arena (8,745)
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS|
Colorado State (15-4, 7-1 MW) home to wrap up a two-game home stand with San Diego State (7-10, 4-3 MW) Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. MT at Moby Arena (8,745).
With a 6-13 record at this point last year, the Rams are off to their best start in 12 years, winning 11 of their last 12, and they're looking to extend their win streak to five games in the midst of conference play.
Saturday will be the Rams' second opportunity to complete a regular-season sweep over a Mountain West foe. CSU did just that last weekend with a road win over New Mexico. With the addition of two teams to the conference this season, schedule shuffling prevented the teams from playing two identical rounds, so CSU has yet to meet up with UNLV, Boise State or Wyoming this year. All three of those schools rank in the top five of the league standings, making for a tough stretch leading to the conference tournament in March.
The game will be broadcast live on AM 1410 KIIX. Matt Wozniak, now in his fifth season with the Rams, calls all the action. Live game video will also be available via the Mountain West Network at CSURams.com/videos.
About San Diego State
- After an 0-2 start to the Mountain West slate, it appeared SDSU might be in for a challenging year, but since then the Aztecs have won four of their last five, including a victory over Fresno State at the Save Mart Center on Jan. 15, 70-69. The team's only setback in that stretch was a road loss at UNLV (74-59), who currently shares the second spot in the league standings with Boise State.
- San Diego State is 2-5 on the road this season. The Aztecs have yet to string together more than two consecutive wins this year.
- The Aztecs allow opponents a .342 conversion rate from three-point range. Teams have made 64 treys in the past seven games, which is third most in the MW.
- SDSU ranks just behind leader CSU in both field-goal percentage (.427; second) and field-goal percentage defense (.365; second).
- The Aztecs outrebound their opponents by a league-leading 9.6 boards per game. The two teams are in for a battle on the glass, as SDSU leads the MW in offensive boards (18.3), and the Rams lead in defensive boards (30.0).
- A transfer from Louisville most recently, and North Carolina previously, Preseason Newcomer of the Year, Cierra Warren, is back home in California for her senior season. She ranks fourth in the MW in both scoring (16.1) and rebounding (8.4). The 6-4 center also leads her team in field-goal percentage (.506). She has slightly improved at the line since the two teams last met, shooting .690 in MW play.
- Warren was named MW Player of the Week Monday, leading her team to a 2-0 record. She averaged impressive numbers, including 25.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. Warren posted a career highs of 31 points and 14 boards vs. SJSU. This is her second weekly honor this season.
- Dating back to Dec. 28, junior guard Ahjalee Harvey has missed the past nine contests with an injury. She is listed day-to-day and will be traveling with the team to Fort Collins.
Series vs. the Aztecs
- Saturday's meeting is the 47th game between the two schools. SDSU has the upper hand in the series, with a 27-19 advantage over CSU all-time.
- CSU is 11-10 in Fort Collins, and 6-4 vs. the Aztecs in the last 10 matchups at Moby Arena.
- Head Coach Ryun Williams is 1-2 vs. San Diego State, with a victory in California earlier this season.
A win will...
- Extend the Rams' win streak to five games, their longest streak in Mountain West play since 2003-04.
- Ensure a winning record overall with 16 total wins on the year. The Rams haven't finished a season above .500 since the 2004-05 campaign. After Saturday's contest, CSU will have nine games left in the regular-season schedule.
- Secure the most wins since the 2003-04 season when Colorado State finished 17-12 overall.
- Tie the most home victories since 2011-12, when the Rams went 10-3.
- Give CSU a chance to remain in first place, one game ahead of either Boise State or UNLV, in the MW standings. The Broncos and Rebels play each other this weekend in Boise at 2 p.m. MT.
Last time at San Diego State (Jan. 2, 2014)
Relinquishing an 11-point lead from the midway point of first half, it was a close game all the way down to the final seconds, but Gritt Ryder and Caitlin Duffy shouldered the team as the clock wound down, and Colorado State got the 64-61 victory at Viejas Arena.
CSU (9-3, 1-0 MW) opens the Mountain West slate with a victory and remains perfect on the road at 4-0 on the year. San Diego State (3-8, 0-1) suffered its fifth loss within four points this season.
With just 2 minutes to play, Ryder and Duffy combined for eight points, including 6-of-8 at the line, icing the win at the charity stripe with 21.3 seconds remaining. Duffy was the lone Ram in double figures, scoring a season-high 20 on the night. Ryder, along with AJ Newton, struggled from the field, but made the shots when they counted the most.
CSU worked up to as much as an 11-point lead near the midpoint of the first half, but sloppy play in the latter minutes allowed the Aztecs to mount a comeback. The Rams held on, however, taking a four-point lead into the locker room at the half.
Colorado State took advantage of San Diego State's mistakes early on, with 13 points off turnovers in the first 8 minutes of the game. The Rams finished the night with 22 points off the Aztecs giveaways. SDSU controlled a different area of the specialty stats, however, with 14 second-chance points off 19 offensive rebounds.
Showcasing their scoring depth, five different Rams buried at least one shot from beyond the arc. Sophomore Caitlin Duffy led the team, shooting 5-of-7 from three-point range.
Senior Sam Martin was held scoreless through the first 25 minutes of play. She finally connected on a layup at the 14:46 mark in the second stanza and finished the evening with eight points. Fellow senior Hayley Thompson played limited but crucial minutes, especially in the first half. She kept the Rams lead intact drawing a charge and sinking a jumper right at the halftime buzzer.
Ellen Nystrom's stat line didn't show a particularly spectacular performance, but her defensive prowess was impressive. She drew three charges and fought hard for each of her four rebounds. Ryder was also the victim of two offensive fouls.
MW Preseason Player of the Year, Cierra Warren, led the Aztecs with a double-double, scoring 16 points and corralling 10 boards. Freshman Ariell Bostick also tallied 16 points.
Game Time Changes
The Rams vs. Air Force game on Feb. 8 has been moved to 12 p.m. MT. The change will allow fans the opportunity to watch the men's CSU at Air Force game on television following the Rams' Play4Kay Pink Out contest at home.
Colorado State is back on the road at UNLV (9-11, 6-2 MW) Wednesday. Tipoff at the Cox Pavilion is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT.
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