March 3, 2014
Colorado State at SJSU | Game 28
March 4 | 8 p.m. MT | San Jose, Calif. | Event Center (5,000)
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||SAN JOSÉ STATE STATE SPARTANS|
Colorado State (22-5, 14-2 MW) begins the final week of the regular season at San José State (10-17, 4-12 MW). Tipoff on Tuesday is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT at the Event Center (5,000).
With a 10-17 record at this point last year, the Rams have made the biggest one-year turnaround in program history, and secured their first 20-win campaign in 11 years under Head Coach Ryun Williams, now in his second season. The team is off to its best start in 15 years, winning 18 of its last 20, and the Rams are looking to extend a new win streak as the regular season comes to a close.
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.
- At the ninth spot in the MW standings, the Spartans are a potential quarterfinal-round opponent for the Rams in the upcoming tournament next week.
- Three of SJSU's four league victories have come at home, including wins over both Fresno State and Wyoming, the Rams' only two losses this season.
- The Spartans strongest statisical categories are rebounds per game (41.1; third), including offensive rebounds (14.8; third), and three-pointers made (8.0).
- Ta'Rea Cunnigan is the team's leading scorer, ranking second in the MW, with 18.7 points per game. She's followed by three others averaging double figures, Rebecca Woodberry (14.4), Classye James (11.7) and freshman Jasmine Smith (10.7).
- Defensively, the Spartans have three players with more than seven boards per game. Riana Byrd leads the charge with 9.2 per contest, followed by Smith with 8.0 and Woodberry at 7.2. All three rank in the top 10 in the league.
- Woodberry is a perfect 31-of-31 from the charity stripe in MW action. The last free-throw she missed was on Nov. 17. She's made 50 straight.
Series vs. the Spartans
- Tuesday's meeting is ninth game between the two schools. Colorado State leads the series, with a 7-1 advantage all-time.
- The Rams are 2-1 in San Jose. Their only loss came in their last visit to the Event Center on Dec. 10, 2005 (78-66).
- Head Coach Ryun Williams is 1-0 in his career vs. the Spartans, with a 101-60 victory earlier this season.
A win will...
- Extend the most wins ever for CSU in the Mountain West, with 15 league victories, and capture the most-ever conference victories, surpassing the old mark from 1998-99, when the Rams finished 14-0 in the WAC.
- Secure the most wins overall since 2001-02, when Colorado State finished 24-7.
- Approach the highest number of road wins the program has had in 15 years, since the 1998-99 campaign, with 10 this season.
Last time at Wyoming (Feb. 22, 2014)
Another Colorado State slow start proved too much to overcome Saturday, as the Rams fell to the Cowgirls, 75-49 at Arena Auditorium.
Held to its lowest score of the season, the Rams fall to 13-2 in the Mountain West with a 21-5 record overall, while Wyoming improves to 18-7 and 9-5 in the league. With the Boise State (15-10, 10-4 MW) win at UNLV this afternoon, CSU needs to win just one more game to clinch at least a share of the title.
The Rams began the game as they have the past two contests, slow to score, shooting 11 percent in the early goings. Wyoming's Marquelle Dent got off to a hot start, with all of the Cowgirls first 12 points. She would tally a career-high 24 by the end of the day.
Early turnovers from errant passes further prohibited the Rams from scoring initially. CSU recorded six giveaways by the midway point of the first frame, but regained control in the latter stages of the half. The team finished right on its season average of 12 as time expired.
Freshman Ellen Nystrom was a dominant presence on the court, especially early on, with 12 points and eight rebounds on the day. She was the first to double figures, followed by fellow Swede Elin Gustavsson with a team-high 16.
Wyoming's Kayla Woodward was deadly from deep, with four three-pointers in the contest. The forward made two consecutive shots from beyond the arc about five minutes into the half that set the pace for the rest of the game.
Last time out
For the first time in 12 years, the Colorado State women's basketball team has been crowned Mountain West Champions after knocking off the UNLV Lady Rebels 84-64 at Moby Arena.
The Rams had finished no better than tied for third place in the Mountain West standings in any season since the 2001-02 campaign and were picked to finish seventh in the Mountain West preseason poll, but with two games left to play this season, they have clinched the title at 14-2 in league play and 22-5 overall.
In just his second season at the helm at Colorado State, Head Coach Ryun Williams is the third coach in program history to bring the school a conference title, joining Greg Williams and Tom Collen.
With the win, Colorado State also improved its home winning streak to 12 games which is the fourth longest streak in school history.
Junior guard AJ Newton led all scorers on with 21 points, while junior forward Sam Martin (17), freshman guard Ellen Nystrom (16) and junior guard Gritt Ryder (10) joined her in double figures. As a team, the Rams shot 50.0 percent from the field and were 12-23 from beyond the arc.
The Lady Rebels were forced into 17 turnovers which Colorado State converted into 23 points. The Rams also displayed their unselfish brand of basketball and racked up 25 assists on 29 made field goals. Nystrom led the team in that department with eight assists, while Ryder contributed with six assists and Newton added five.
Colorado State got off to a slow start in the first half and found itself down by as much as seven in the opening half. UNLV used its hot shooting to take a 37-32 lead into the intermission with the Lady Rebels shooting 50 percent from the field and 6-9 from the three-point line.
The beginning of the second half saw UNLV extend its lead up to nine points at 47-38 with 16:35 left in the game. Facing the adversity, the Rams began to flex their muscles as a team and clamped down on defense. Down 51-49, the Rams used a 19-0 run, the longest run of the season, to propel the team ahead by 17 points at 68-51 with 5:40 left in the game.
The run was spurred by the stellar shooting of Newton, who knocked down three consecutive three-pointers. Newton finished the game with five made three-pointers.
Much of Colorado State's second-half success was attributed to the team's defensive tenacity. After allowing UNLV to shoot well in the first half, the Lady Rebels were held to just 30.3 percent shooting in the second half and 2-8 from the three-point line.
Senior forward Alicia Nichols contributed mightily to CSU's comeback effort with six points, four rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Nichols kept many plays alive with her hustle plays which resulted in easy baskets for the Rams.
Colorado State wraps up the regular season in the second installment of the Border War Friday. Tipoff at Moby Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT.
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