Colorado State Rams (19-6, 11-2 MW) vs. Wyoming Cowgirls (18-6, 10-3 MW)
Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 7 p.m. MT | Moby Arena (8,745) | Fort Collins, Colo.
Coverage: CSURams.com/videos (MW Network) | KARS 102.9 FM | Live Stats
Tickets: CSURams.com/tickets | 800-491-RAMS
Twitter: @CSUWomensBball | @CSURamsGameday | @CSURams
Notes: CSU Women’s Basketball Weekly Release
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The top two teams in the Mountain West standings are set to meet this Wednesday, when the Colorado State women’s basketball team hosts the Wyoming Cowgirls in a Border War matchup at Moby Arena.
Opening tip from Moby Arena is set for 7 p.m. MT on Wednesday. The Rams’ matchup with the Cowgirls is this year’s Orange Out game, and all fans are encouraged to participate by wearing orange to Moby Arena on Wednesday. The first 750 fans at Moby Arena will receive a free Orange Out rally towel.
Other promotions include the Family Four Pack (four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas for $40) and the Commitment to Campus Game (half-price tickets for CSU staff/faculty; free hot dog or nachos and free soda or water).
Colorado State (19-6, 11-2 MW) enters the week on top of the Mountain West standings with an 11-2 conference record. The Rams enter this week coming off a dramatic 66-64 victory in overtime at Fresno State. Senior guard Ellen Nystrom lifted the Rams to victory with a jumper in the finals seconds, as CSU won for the first time in Fresno, Calif. since 1997. In that same game, Nystrom reached 540 career assists to break the record formerly held by CSU great and current San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon (538).
After a 7-0 start to conference play, Wyoming (18-6, 10-3 MW) has gone split its most recent six games en route to a 10-3 Mountain West record. Over that stretch, the Cowgirls have defeated San Diego State, Air Force and Utah State. The Cowgirls are 5-5 on the road this season, and 3-3 in road games in conference play. The Rams are 12-1 at home this season, including a 5-1 mark in home conference games.
Live video for Wednesday’s game is available through CSURams.com/videos via the MW Network, while the radio broadcast will be carried by KARS 102.9 FM via the CSU Radio Network. Matthew Wozniak will be on the call for each of the broadcasts. Each stream may be accessed through the links above or on the women’s basketball schedule page on CSURams.com.
A CSU Win Against Wyoming Would…
- Be CSU’s sixth consecutive win at home, as well as its 28th win in its last 29 games played at Moby Arena.
- Be CSU’s 11th win against conference opponents in its last 12 Mountain West contests.
- Move CSU to 49-45 all-time against Wyoming.
- Be CSU’s seventh consecutive win over the Cowgirls.
- As the case has been for the past few seasons under Ryun Williams, CSU is once again one of the nation’s top defensive teams. The Rams rank fourth in the nation in scoring defense (52.4) and third in the country in field goal percentage defense (.331). The Rams have paired that with the nation’s ninth-lowest turnover rate (12.1) en route to their 11-2 conference record this season.
- CSU has been productive from the three-point arc, ranking 32nd in the nation in three-point field goals (197). The Rams improve their advantage from three-point range on the defensive end, as they are limiting opponents to the nation’s 10th-lowest three-point field goal percentage against (.265).
- CSU’s two seniors, Ellen Nystrom and Elin Gustavsson, have paced the Rams in scoring, averaging 15.1 and 12.9 points per game, respectively. Gustavsson and Nystrom recently became the 18th and 19th players in program history to reach 1,000 career points, respectively. Nystrom ranks fifth in the MW in scoring, while Gustavsson ranks 12th.
- Nystrom and Gustavsson also lead the team in rebounding, averaging 7.8 and 6.1 rebounds per game, respectively. Nystrom, who ranks seventh in the MW in rebounding, has seven double-doubles this season, while Gustavsson has five. Hannah Tvrdy ranks third on the Rams in each of those categories, averaging 8.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per game so far this season.
- Gustavsson leads the team and ranks fourth in the conference in field goal percentage (.512), while Tvrdy ranks 10th in the MW in field goal percentage (.452).
- Nystrom also ranks within the top 10 in the Mountain West in assists (third – 5.2 per game), free throw percentage (fifth - .838), assist/turnover ratio (second – 1.8), defensive rebounds per game (second – 7.2), minutes played (third – 34.3) and steals per game (third – 2.1). Nystrom ranks 12th nationally in defensive rebounds per game (7.3).
- Ellen Nystrom recently passed Becky Hammon for the CSU all-time career assists record, and is nearing the top five all-time in Mountain West history. Nystrom has 540 assists for her career, and needs six to tie (seven to pass) Helena Sverrisdottir (546 from 2007-11).
- Nystrom also has 1,320 points for her career, recently passing Melissa Dennett for 12th on CSU’s all-time list. Nystrom is 15 points behind No. 11 Karen Hosek-Kreuzer (1,335 points). Elin Gustavsson is 13th on that list with 1,291 points, placing 29 points behind Nystrom.
- Nystrom also ranks within CSU’s top-10 rebounds leaders all-time with 806 for her career. Nystrom recently passed Jennifer Halbach (792) for fifth all-time and Sherry Neely (797) for fourth all-time. Nystrom is 51 rebounds behind Katie Cronin (857) for third all-time.
- Nystrom recently joined CSU’s all-time career steals list, ranking seventh with 186 for her career. Nystrom sits 20 steals behind Mary Jo Berenato, who ranks sixth with 206.
- Gustavsson ranks ninth on CSU’s all-time blocks list with 67. Gustavsson has one fewer block than Angie Gorton (68), and three fewer blocks than Marilyn Moulton (70).
- The Colorado State women’s basketball team has one game at home and one on the road next week. The Rams host New Mexico on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. MT and play at San Diego State on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. MT/2 p.m. PT.
- CSU’s game with New Mexico is this season’s Pink OUT/Play 4 Kay game. Fans are encouraged to participate by wearing pink to the Rams’ matchup with the Lobos.
Ellen Nystrom Breaks Becky Hammon’s All-Time Assists Record
- With six assists on Saturday, Feb. 11 at Fresno State, senior guard Ellen Nystrom set the all-time career assists record at CSU. The record had been held for 20 years by CSU great Becky Hammon, who finished her career with 538 assists.
- Nystrom owns numerous assists records at CSU. The Lulea, Sweden native owns the single-game assists record (16 vs. Fresno State on March 11, 2016), single-season assists record (186 in 2016) and now the career assists record.
Elin Gustavsson Earns Third Career MW Player of the Week Honor
- With a career-best scoring performance and her fourth double-double of the season, senior forward Elin Gustavsson was named Mountain West Player of the Week on Jan. 30.
- Gustavsson has led the Rams in scoring for the past three games, including her career-best 32-point performance in the Rams' 60-43 win over San Diego State. The senior made 13-of-21 field goal attempts against the Aztecs, and added six rebounds.
- Gustavsson added a double-double in a 68-56 CSU victory at San Jose State. Gustavsson tallied 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting and corralled 10 rebounds en route to her fourth double-double of the season.
Nystrom and 2015-16 Rams Honored by Sportswomen of Colorado
- Senior guard Ellen Nystrom and the 2015-16 Rams added to their extensive collection of accolades on Thursday, Jan. 26, when each received honors from the Sportswomen of Colorado.
- The Sportwomen of Colorado named Ellen Nystrom the 2016 College Basketball Player of the Year, which is the fourth major individual honor she has received either during or leading up to the 2016-17 season (2016-17 Preseason Mountain West Player of the Year, 2016 Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Female College Athlete of the Year, 2016-17 Senior CLASS Award candidate).
- The 2015-16 Colorado State women’s basketball team was selected as the team of the year among all sports and at any level. Amongst other accomplishments last season, the Rams finished with a program-best 31-2 record and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002.
Nystrom Named Female College Athlete of the Year by Colorado Sports Hall of Fame
- Adding to an already impressive set of accolades, senior guard Ellen Nystrom was chosen by the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame as the 2016 College Female Athlete of the Year.
- Nystrom is the ninth CSU athlete to win the award, the most of any school. Former CSU great and current San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon was also a recipient of the award, and is the only three-time recipient in the award’s history.
- A CSU male or female athlete has now been honored by the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in six of the past seven years, as well as in each of the past four years.
Nystrom a Candidate for 2016-17 Senior CLASS Award
- Senior guard Ellen Nystrom is one of 30 candidates across the nation to be named a candidate for the 2016-17 Senior CLASS Award.
- The Senior CLASS Award is one of the nation’s premier awards honoring complete student-athletes. To be eligible for the award, potential candidates must have senior eligibility at the NCAA Division I level and must demonstrate excellence in the community, in the classroom, as well as in her character and in competition.
- Of the 30 candidates identified for this season’s Senior CLASS Award, Nystrom is the only player to be selected from the Mountain West. Furthermore, Nystrom is the first player from the Mountain West to be a candidate for the award since Caroline Durbin of New Mexico was a candidate in 2012-13.
Williams Reaches 100 Wins Milestone at CSU
- Fifth-year head coach Ryun Williams won his 100th game as head coach at CSU with the Rams’ 70-67 overtime win against San Jose State.
- Williams is the third coach in program history to win 100 games as head coach of the Rams. Ryun Williams joins Greg Williams (108 wins) and Tom Collen (129 wins).
Williams Wins Program-Record 57th Conference Game
- Along with earning his 100th win at CSU against San Jose State, fifth-year head coach Ryun Williams also picked up his 57th conference victory, the most under any head coach in program history.
- Williams broke the previous record held by Tom Collen, who won 56 conference games during his tenure as head coach at Colorado State.
Historic Mountain West Win Streaks Come to an End
- CSU had a pair of unprecedented conference win streaks come to an end earlier this season. The Rams had put together program best win streaks of 22 games (including postseason) and 25 games (regular season only) against Mountain West foes.
- CSU’s 22-game MW win streak (including postseason) neared the all-time top 20 list in NCAA record books, as official records span back to a 24-game win streak in the Atlantic 10 by Temple from 2004-05.
- The Rams’ 22-game conference win streak (including postseason) also ranked as the third best in the nation before ending. CSU ranked only behind UConn and Notre Dame, and was tied with South Carolina.
- With its win against Seattle on Dec. 18, CSU recorded its 22nd straight win, setting the program record for its longest home winning streak in program history. The Rams had previously won 21 consecutive games at Moby Arena during 1998-99. The Rams’ home win streak ended on Dec. 31 vs. Boise State.
- With the win streak that dates back to last season, the Rams currently had the fourth-longest active home winning streak in the country. CSU trailed only UConn, Baylor and Army in that category.
- Under head coach Ryun Williams, the Rams broken program records for longest winning streak (28 in 2015-16), longest road winning streak (12 in 2015-16) and now, longest home winning streak (22 broke the record on Dec. 18).
Nystrom First in Mountain West to Earn Pair of Weekly Honors
- Senior guard Ellen Nystrom put the Rams on her back in their 66-62 win over Seattle. Nystrom recorded her second double-double of the season, including a career-high 33 points with 13 rebounds.
- Nystrom accounted for half of the team’s 66 points, while her 13 field goals made were the sixth-most in a single game in program history and over half of the team’s 24 field goals made on Sunday.
- The 2016-17 Preseason Mountain West Player of the Year picked up the first and sixth MW Player of the Week honors of the season, becoming the first to win multiple weekly honors during the 2016-17 season.
Rams Navigate One of Nation’s Most Challenging Early Schedules
- CSU has not backed down from the nation’s top competition through the first few weeks of the season, taking on each of then-No. 15/13 Washington, then-No. 13/12 Oklahoma, Nebraska and No. 18 Colorado on the road.
- CSU is one of only a handful of teams to face a pair of AP top-15 opponents through the first month of the season. Only 10 other schools had done so at that point: Baylor, Cal Poly, Connecticut, DePaul, Gonzaga, Houston Baptist, Maine, Ohio State, South Carolina and Texas.
- Of that list, CSU was only one of seven teams outside the five power conferences to face multiple AP top-15 opponents in November. Furthermore, only two teams in the nation other than CSU faced each of those top-15 opponents in true road contests: Cal Poly and Houston Baptist.
- With CSU’s trip to then-No. 18 Colorado on Dec. 8, CSU was at that point the only Division I team in the nation to play three top-20 opponents on the road.
Kaiser’s Breakout Week
- On the road against Colorado, the Rams’ third top-20 opponent of the season, CSU turned to sophomore Callie Kaiser off the bench. Kaiser responded, scoring a career-high and team-high 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting.
- Following that effort, Kaiser was rewarded with her first career start against New Mexico Highlands. Kaiser strong week continued, as she set another career high for points, tallying 20 against the Cowgirls on 7-of-9 shooting.
- For the week, Kaiser averaged 18.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and four assists. Kaiser shot .824 (14-of-17) from the floor, and .714 (5-of-7) from beyond the three-point arc.
Rams Set School Single-Game Three-Point Field Goals Record
- Having already broken the school single-game blocks record this season, the Rams drained 20 three-point field goals against New Mexico Highlands to add another single-game program record to the list.
- Seven different Rams made at least one three-point field goal against the Cowgirls, and six Rams made multiple three-point field goals. The performance ended up lifting the Rams to a 65-point win (96-31), CSU’s fourth-largest margin of victory in program history.
- The previous record was 19, a total the Rams racked up against San Jose State on Feb. 1, 2014. The rest of the then-top five (now top six) performances were made up by a four-way tie at 14 three-pointers in a game. The 2014 team also had one of those 14 three-point field goal outings, recording it against Utah State on Feb. 12, 2014.
Gustavsson and Nystrom Reach 1,000-Point Milestone
- Two of CSU’s most consistent scorers throughout their respective careers, seniors Elin Gustavsson and Ellen Nystrom have become the 18th and 19th players, respectively, in program history to reach 1,000 career points.
- The duo of Nystrom and Gustavsson join select company in CSU’s history. The only other senior classes to include two 1,000-point scorers are Melissa Dennett/Lindsay Thomas (2002-06), Becky Hammon/Katie Cronin (1995-99) and Karen Hosek-Kreuzer/Sherry Neely (1981-85).
Rams Break Program’s Single-Game Blocks Record
- Of the many notable performances from the Rams’ 76-29 win over Adams State was CSU’s proficiency in blocking shots. The Rams denied 13 of the Grizzlies’ attempts, marking a new single-game school record for blocked shots.
- CSU’s 13 blocks were the most since the Rams blocked 11 shots against Idaho on Nov. 24, 2006. The Rams tallied 11 blocks two other times previously.
- Of the 13 blocks, six were accounted for by Anna Dreimane in just 12 minutes of action.
- Dreimane’s six blocks in that game tied for the third-most in a single game in CSU history. The record is held by Teresa James, who denied 10 shots against Baylor on Dec. 12, 1992.
Nystrom Earns Mountain West’s First Player of the Week Award of 2016-17
- Following the top scoring performance of her career, senior guard Ellen Nystrom was the recipient of the Mountain West’s first Women’s Basketball Player of the Year award of the 2016-17 season.
- Nystrom scored the most points of any Mountain West player through Nov. 13, dropping a career-high 22 points to lead the Rams to a 69-42 win over Omaha. Nystrom shot .571 (8-for-14) for the night, marking the second-highest shooting percentage of any MW player over that period. Rounding out an impressive start to her senior campaign was a career-high three offensive rebounds (five total).
- The weekly honor was the second of Nystrom’s career. Her first came on March 6, 2016.
Rams Picked to Win Mountain West Title
- For the third consecutive season, the Rams have been the pick by conference coaches and select media to win the Mountain West. The preseason nod is the CSU’s fourth all-time. In each of the previous three instances, the Rams have gone on to win the Mountain West.
- CSU received 283 points in the voting, including 17 of 29 possible first-place votes. Boise State finished second in the voting with 271 points and 11 first-place votes, while Fresno State checked in at third in the league with 221 points. New Mexico received the remaining first-place vote, and finished sixth in the preseason poll (176 points).
Nystrom Named Preseason MW Player of the Year
- Leading the top returners for CSU is senior guard Ellen Nystrom, who was named the 2016-17 Preseason MW Player of the Year as part of the preseason conference voting. During conference play last season, Nystrom averaged 11.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game, along with the league’s best assist/turnover ratio (2.6).
- Program records held by Nystrom include CSU’s single-season assists record (186) – a record previously held by CSU great Becky Hammon – as well as the single-game program record for assists (16), which she set in the 2016 MW Tournament championship game.
CSU in the National Polls to Open 2016-17
- In the first polls leading up to the 2016-17 women’s basketball season, Colorado State is receiving votes in both national polls – the AP Poll and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. At the start of the season, CSU received 17 votes in the coaches’ poll, and 10 from the AP.
- The Rams entered the polls last season, climbing as high as No. 22 entering NCAA Tournament play. Last season’s stretch of rankings marked the first time since 2002 that CSU had been nationally ranked by the AP Poll.
Rams Look for Fourth Straight Postseason Berth
- Entering the 2016-17 season, the Rams will be looking for their fourth straight postseason appearance. The 2015-16 Rams reached the NCAA Tournament after a dramatic win over Fresno State in the MW Tournament championship game, while each of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 teams earned selections to the WNIT.
- CSU’s bid to the NCAA Tournament last season was its sixth all-time. Before the 2015-16 season, the Rams had not reached the NCAA Tournament since 2002.
Rams to Defend Three Consecutive MW Regular Season Titles
- CSU was once again picked to win the Mountain West in 2016-17, and will look to defend each of its regular season and tournament titles. The Rams have won the MW in the regular season in each of the past three seasons (2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16).
- No other program in Mountain West history has ever won three consecutive regular season conference titles outright. Additionally, no current MW member has ever won consecutive regular season titles. The only other program to win consecutive regular season titles was Utah.
- During the Ryun Williams era at CSU, one of the hallmarks of CSU’s success has been stellar defense. The Rams expect to be strong on the defensive end again in 2016-17.
- In 2016-17, the Rams ranked fifth in the nation in field goal percentage defense, sixth in scoring defense and eighth in three-point field goal defense. CSU was the only team in the country to be ranked in the top eight in each of the three defensive categories at the end of last season.
- One of the major factors in CSU’s success this season will be adjustment to changing roles from prior seasons to the 2016-17 season. One of those roles will be filling the void beyond the three-point line left by the departure of Jamie Patrick, one of CSU’s all-time top three-point shooters.
- Ellen Nystrom and Elin Gustavsson, who will look to increase their scoring roles this season, shot .356 and .372 from beyond the arc, respectively, last season. Stine Austgulen took 68 three-point shots last season, the second-most on the team, while Hannah Tvrdy ranked third with 59 attempts and Sofie Tryggedsson placed fourth with 53.
2015-16 at a Glance
- CSU put together one of the program’s all-time best seasons in 2015-16, reaching the NCAA Tournament after a MW Tournament championship and its third straight MW regular-season championship. The Rams went 31-2 (.939) in 2015-16, and finished a perfect 18-0 in conference play.
- With their 18-0 league record, the Rams became the first team in conference history to win the Mountain West outright in three consecutive seasons. CSU went 15-3 in each of 2013-14 and 2014-15 en route to respective regular season titles in each of those seasons.
- The 2015-16 CSU squad is also the only team to this point to finish unbeaten in conference play since the Mountain West transitioned to an 18-game league schedule, and only the third team to accomplish that feat overall. The last team to finish unbeaten in MW play was Utah in 2007-08. No current MW member other than CSU has ever gone undefeated in league play.
- The Rams MW Tournament championship hoisted them to their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2002. CSU also cracked the AP Top 25 in 2015-16, a feat the Rams had also last accomplished in 2002.
- CSU’s winning percentage of .939 last season was the best in program history. The Rams enter this season with active win streaks of 15 games at Moby Arena and 12 games in true road contests.
- Ellen Nystrom became the second Ram all-time to be named MW Player of the Year (Gritt Ryder in 2014-15). Ryun Williams was named MW Coach of the Year, earning the award for his second time in four years.
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