March 13, 2014
No. 1 Colorado State vs. No. 5 Wyoming | Game 31
March 14 | 1 p.m. MT | Las Vegas, Nev. | Thomas & Mack Center (18,500)
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||WYOMING COWGIRLS|
No. 1 Colorado State (24-6) will play No. 5 Wyoming (20-10) for the third time in three weeks Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. MT/12 p.m. PT at the Thomas & Mack Center (15,800). The Rams and Cowgirls split the regular-season home-and-home series. CSU last defeated UW one week ago at Moby Arena.
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 has reached its best record in 14 years, winning 20 of its last 22, and the Rams are looking to continue their momentum heading toward the Mountain West championship.
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.
- Wyoming has advanced to its third consecutive semifinals in the Mountain West tournament. The Cowgirls are 0-4 in the semifinal round, and 6-14 in MW-tournament history.
- Opening the tournament with a 5-4 upset over Boise State, Wyoming struggled from the field in the first half, but maintained a one-point lead at the midway point with success at the free-throw line. The Cowgirls upped their shooting percentage in the second frame, pulling away for the 61-56 win. Sophomore Marquelle Dent led all scorers with 23 points, her third 20-point game this season.
- Wyoming, who averages 3,375 in attendance at home, will have a strong following at the Thomas & Mack Center Friday.
- Senior Fallon Lewis leads the conference in rebounds with 9.6 boards per game. The Cowgirls also have three of the league's top 10 leading scorers. Kayla Woodward ranks third (16.6), followed by Lewis in fifth (14.5) and Kaitlyn Mileto in 10th (13.7).
- Woodward and Mileto are the team's two scoring threats from three-point range, with 77 and 79 treys on the year, respectively. Both fall in the top three of the conference rankings.
- A fairly even match statiscally speaking, UW falls just behind CSU in scoring margin (plus-8.2), field-goal percentage defense (.384) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3).
Series vs. the Cowgirls
- Friday's meeting is 89th game between the two schools, according to Colorado State. Wyoming recognizes three additional matchups before 1980, all of which were losses for CSU. Following the Rams' record book, Wyoming has a slight edge in the series, with a 45-43 advantage over CSU all-time.
- The Rams have played the Cowgirls more than any other team in the Mountain West tournament. Friday's contest will mark the seventh matchup. CSU is 4-2 vs. Wyoming all-time.
- CSU most recently suffered a heartbreaking loss to UW in last year's tournament, 60-58, when the Cowgirls abruptly ended the Rams' season after relinquishing a 14-point lead in the second half.
- Head Coach Ryun Williams is 1-4 in his career vs. the Cowgirls.
A win will...
- Be the second time Colorado State has advanced to the championship in the Mountain West tournament since the conference was formed in 1999-2000. The Rams are 1-0 in the championship round, winning the title in 2001.
- Tie the most wins overall since 2000-01, when Colorado State finished 25-7.
- Mark the third time CSU has won at least two games in the MW tournament. The Rams last won the first and second round games in 2008. After going 0-16 in league play, CSU won its play-in game over UNLV, and then pulled off an remarkable upset over No. 12 Utah before falling to New Mexico in the semis.
Last time vs. Wyoming (March 7, 2014)
The Colorado State women's basketball team (23-6, 15-3 MW) concluded one of the program's most successful regular seasons last week with a 58-46 win over Border War rival Wyoming (19-10, 10-8 MW) at Moby Arena in front of 3,119 fans who were in attendance to cheer on CSU's three seniors one last time.
With the win, the Rams finished 14-1 at Moby Arena, marking the most home wins for the program since the 2002-03 campaign, and improved their winning streak to 13 games in front of their home fans, fourth most all-time. The 3,119 fans also mark the highest attendance Colorado State has had all season.
Freshman guard Ellen Nystrom led all scorers with 20 points on 9-12 shooting, and also tallied six rebounds, four assists and four steals. Junior guard Gritt Ryder was second on the team in scoring, finishing with 15 points, six rebounds and six assists, while senior forward Sam Martin concluded her playing career at Moby Arena with a 12-point, five rebound effort against the Cowgirls.
The Rams shot 43 percent from the field against Wyoming, but relied heavily on their great defensive play to propel the team to the victory. The Cowgirls were held to just 35 percent shooting, including 1-10 from three-point distance, and were forced into 19 turnovers which Colorado State converted into 20 points.
CSU was especially effective with its play on junior forward Kayla Woodward, who came into the game ranking third in the conference with 17.4 points per game.
Utilizing the defensive matchups of Nystrom, Ryder and sophomore guard Caitlin Duffy, the Rams held Woodward scoreless for just the second time in her career, as the junior forward went 0-7 from the field.
Ryder was instrumental on the defensive end for CSU with four steals and two blocks, while Martin tallied four blocks as the Rams made it impossible for Wyoming to get in a groove with eight blocks and nine steals as a team.
Along with points off of turnovers, Colorado State held a significant advantage on the interior, outscoring the Cowgirls 34-24 in the paint.
After the game, CSU's three seniors, Martin, Alicia Nichols and Hayley Thompson were all honored for their key contributions over their careers, and the team was presented with the Mountain West Trophy, after winning the regular-season Mountain West title for the first time since 2001-02.
Should the Rams advance, Colorado State will play the winner of the No. 2 Fresno State vs. No. 3 Nevada matchup in the championship game of the MW tournament in Las Vegas on Saturday at 8 p.m. MT/7 p.m. PT.
The Bulldogs and Wolf Pack play each other following the Rams contest Friday at 3:30 p.m. MT/2:30 p.m. PT.
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