March 10, 2014
No. 1 Colorado State vs. No. 8 Utah State | Game 30
March 11 | 1 p.m. MT | Las Vegas, Nev. | Thomas & Mack Center (18,500)
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||UTAH STATE AGGIES|
No. 1 seeded Colorado State (23-6, 15-3 MW) will play No. 8 Utah State (14-15, 8-10 MW) Tuesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. MT/12 p.m. PT at the Thomas & Mack Center (15,800).
For an in-depth look at the Rams' history in the Mountain West tournament, as well as analysis of CSU's path to the championship, refer to Colorado State's Tournament Notes.
With a 11-19 record 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 19 of its last 21, and the Rams are looking to continue their momentum heading into the Mountain West tournament.
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 Utah State
The Aggies are riding a three-game win streak heading into the tournament, with victories over Wyoming (84-80), SJSU (96-67) and New Mexico (67-65). USU was dealt the final bye of the season, with its last time on the court Tuesday.
Utah State last played UNM at home on Feb. 26. Newly crowned MW Player of the Year, Jennifer Schlott, sunk a pair of free throws with 6.0 seconds remaining, which proved to be the winner over the Lobos.
USU was also the victor in Albuquerque earlier this year on Jan. 29, winning 75-69. Schlott scored the final 14 points of the game, leading to 30 points on the night. The senior was also a perfect 10-of-10 from the line.
Schlott has tallied 11 30-point performances this season, including a career-best 44 at UC Santa Barbara. She averages a league-leading 26.3 points per game. She also leads the MW in assists, with 6.0 per contest, and is third in steals.
Makenlee Williams, who missed 10 games because of injury earlier this year, is second on the team in scoring with 16.3 points per game. Elise Nelson leads the squad on the glass averaging 6.6 rebounds.
Not surprisingly, the Aggies lead the league in scoring (77.9). They also boast the most accurate free-throw percentage (.767), the most blocks (4.1) and steals (9.9).
Series vs. the Aggies
- Tuesday's potential meeting would be the 22nd game between the two schools. Colorado State has the edge in the series, with a 12-9 advantage over USU all-time.
- Head Coach Ryun Williams and the Rams are undefeated against the Aggies since they joined the Mountain West, with two wins earlier this season.
A win will...
- Be the first time Colorado State has won a game in the Mountain West tournament since 2009, when the eighth-seeded Rams defeated No. 5 Wyoming in the First Round, 64-56.
- Tie the most wins overall since 2001-02, when Colorado State finished 24-7.
- Give CSU its first neutral-court win of the season. The Rams are currently 0-2, with two tough losses earlier this season in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown.
- Make Head Coach Ryun Williams the third-fastest coach in CSU history to reach 35 wins, second to Tom Collen (1997-2002) and Chris Denker (2003-05).
Last time at Utah State (Feb. 12, 2014)
Colorado State made history at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, earning its eighth consecutive win in the midst of Mountain West play, the longest streak for the Rams in league action in the 14-year history of the conference. Utah State fell victim to the Rams' wrath, 100-75.
Overall, the streak matches CSU's (19-4, 11-1 MW) best since the 2000-01 campaign, which was also the last time the team scored 100 points twice in one season. The Rams' 19th win on the year is the most victories for Colorado State in 11 years, while the team still has six regular-season games to play. Their 11th Mountain West win is the most in 12 years, and its CSU's eighth road win, the most in 15 years.
The Rams opened the game on an explosive 14-0 run led by Sam Martin, who put down a quick seven points. From that point on the entire offense was clicking, with two more leading scorers for CSU before anyone on the team reached 10 points.
CSU made 14 shots from beyond the arc, which before Feb. 1 would have tied the school record, but today it ranks second all-time in the record book. The Rams have made 11 threes or more in six games this year, which all make the top 15 best performance list.
Colorado State saw five players reach double figures for the third time this season, and it happened before the midway point of the second half. The Rams were again able to call upon their reserves for some quality time on the court towards the end of the contest.
Gritt Ryder was one of those leading scorers, with 17 points by the halftime buzzer. She was a perfect 4-4 on her first attempts from deep, and the Denmark native buried her fifth three-pointer with 1 second on the clock, sending the Rams into the locker room with 57 first-half points, the most the team has scored in one stanza all season. She ended the night with a team-high 19 points.
Freshman Ellen Nystrom was a powerful presence on the court, corralling rebounds, getting deflections and drawing fouls. She tallied 15 points on 5-of-5 shooting, and a team-high seven assists on the evening.
Caitlin Duffy was firing from all corners of the court with 15 points, while Sam Martin got to the line a for a season-best seven attempts, converting six, totaling 18 points, while grabbing 10 rebounds for her third double-double on the year. AJ Newton rounded out the five in double-digits with 13 points.
CSU has now outscored opponents in its past four games by 150 points, or an average margin of 37.5 points per game. The Rams lead the conference in scoring margin.
Should the Rams advance, Colorado State will play the winner of the No. 4 Boise State vs. No. 5 Wyoming matchup in the semifinal round of the MW tournament in Las Vegas on Friday at 1 p.m. MT/12 p.m. PT.
The Broncos and Cowgirls play each other following the Rams contest Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. MT/2:30 p.m. PT.
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