Feb. 14, 2014
Colorado State vs. Fresno State | Game 24
Feb. 15 | 2 p.m. MT | Fort Collins, Colo. | Moby Arena (8,745)
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS|
Colorado State (19-4, 11-1 MW) is back home for a rematch vs. Fresno State (14-9, 8-4 MW), the only team to hand the Rams a loss in the league this year. Tipoff on Saturday is scheduled for 2 p.m. MT at Moby Arena (8,745).
With a 7-15 record at this point last year, the Rams have made a big turnaround, and are one win away from their first 20-win campaign in 11 years under Head Coach Ryun Williams, now in his second season. The team has tied its best start in 12 years, winning 15 of its last 16, and the Rams are looking to extend their win streak to nine games in the midst of conference play.
With the addition of two teams to the conference this season, schedule shuffling prevented the teams from playing two identical rounds, so the Rams have yet to see Boise State or Wyoming. Both of those schools, in addition to second-round matchups with Fresno State and UNLV, rank in the top half 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 or KIIXCountry.com. 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 Fresno State
- The Bulldogs were picked to win the Mountain West, but currently sit in third place. Three close losses to SJSU, Nevada and San Diego State amount to only six points separating their currently record of 8-4 from potentially being tied with Rams at 11-1.
- Fresno State is hoping to snap a three-game road losing streak Saturday. The Bulldogs lost at San Jose State (68-66), at Wyoming (87-76) and at Nevada (63-60).
- Despite the loss on the road to the Wolf Pack, the 'Dogs bounced back with a big win over Nevada in Round 2 of the home-and-home series, 73-48. Bree Farley scored a career-high 25 points, and the team held UNR to just 28.6 percent from the field.
- FS is just behind CSU in a couple of statistical categories, most notably in scoring margin at plus-10.3, field-goal percentage (.432) and turnover margin (plus-2.4). The Bulldogs lead the MW in steals (10.7).
- Farley and Taylor Thompson lead the 'Dogs in steals, both ranking in the top 10 in the MW. Jacinta Vandenberg is second in the league behind Sam Martin in blocks, with 17 in conference games.
- Four of Fresno State's starters rank in the top 15 in three-point percentage. Alex Furr, who stepped in to replace the injured Alex Sheedy, leads the team with a .467 percentage from deep.
- Taylor Thompson breaks up the three Rams in the top four in assist-to-turnover ratio. She falls in second, just behind Gritt Ryder with 50 assists to 21 giveaways.
Series vs. the Bulldogs
- Saturday's meeting is the 14th game between the two schools. CSU has the upper hand in the series, with an 8-5 advantage over FS all-time.
- The Rams are 3-3 in Fort Collins. CSU lost to the Bulldogs at home, 69-58, when the two teams renewed the rivalry last season.
- Head Coach Ryun Williams is 0-3 in his career vs. Fresno State. FS and Wyoming are the only two schools Williams has yet to beat, now in his second season at Colorado State.
A win will...
- Secure the first 20-win campaign since 2002-03, when Colorado State finished 21-13 overall.
- Bring the Rams' win streak to nine games, the longest streak since 1998-99, when CSU produced its best record in program history at 33-3, which included a 19-game run.
- Extend the longest win streak ever for the Rams during Mountain West play, and approach the longest streak in conference play since the fabled 1998-99 season, when the Rams finished a perfect 14-0 in league action.
- Be the first time CSU obtained 12 league victories since 2001-02, when the Rams finished 12-2 in MW action.
- Approach the most home wins since 2002-03, when the Rams went 17-1 at Moby Arena.
- Move CSU a 0.5 game further ahead of Boise State in first place in the MW standings. The Broncos have a bye this weekend before hosting the Rams on Wednesday.
Last time at Fresno State (Jan. 11, 2014)
Costly turnovers and poor shooting were to blame for a 60-50 loss at the Save Mart Center.
The loss was the Rams’ (11-4, 3-1 MW) first on the road this season. The Bulldogs improve to 9-5 and 4-0 in the league, and maintain first place in the standings. The final tally of 50 points is the lowest CSU has scored all year.
The Rams got off to a fast start, shooting 50.0 percent, with a seven-point lead nearing the midway point of the first frame, but from there they went cold. Fresno State took advantage, going on a 13-0 run. The Bulldogs took a 13-point lead into the locker room at the half.
Twice this season CSU has overcame 13-point deficits to win, and the Rams came out into the second stanza with that in mind, opening the half on an 8-2 run, shooting 80.0 percent. Then the shooting bug struck again, this time for both teams. For 3 minutes, neither team could convert, plummeting the Rams second-half shooting percentage to .364. Colorado State shot .353 on the afternoon.
The Rams defense was stalwart in the final 20 minutes, forcing the Bulldogs to throw up bad shots to avoid a shot clock violation on three consecutive possessions. CSU gave up nine turnovers in the first half, to which Fresno State scored 16 points. The Rams ended up with 15 on the day, surpassing their average of 11.9, the most since the Rams gave away 19 vs. Weber State. Gritt Ryder, who was third in the Mountain West in assist-to-turnover ratio, had a rare off-day, with nine giveaways.
Freshman Ellen Nystrom continued her scoring streak, with 17 points on the day for her seventh game of the year in double figures. Sam Martin added a quiet 10 to CSU’s score, while AJ Newton had nine points.
Colorado State begins a two-game road stretch at Boise State (14-9, 9-3 MW), which currently ranks second in the MW standings. Tipoff at Taco Bell Arena Wednesday is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT.
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