Good teams find ways to win games when things aren't going their way and baskets are hard to come by. The Colorado State Rams (20-4, 12-1 MW) did just that by grinding out a 53-47 victory over third-place Fresno State (14-10, 8-5 MW) on Saturday afternoon at Moby Arena.
"That was a good win," Head Coach Ryun Williams said. "They aren't all going to be pretty, they're not all going to be smooth, but this group just keeps finding a way (to win)."
Junior guard AJ Newton led all players with 14 points while junior guard Gritt Ryder added 13 points and four assists and freshman guard Ellen Nystrom tallied 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
With its first 20-win season since the 2002-03 campaign, the Rams have found a variety of methods to secure victories. This time, CSU notched its second victory of the season when it scored less than 60 points.
Just three days after putting up 100 points on the road at Utah State, the Rams struggled immensely from the field. CSU led just once at 5-3 in the first half and connected on only 22.2 percent of its shots, including going 1-15 from the three-point line.
While Colorado State couldn't seem to buy a basket in the first half, the Bulldogs took advantage by knocking down six of their 15 three-point attempts and opened up a 27-16 lead at halftime.
At halftime, Williams addressed his team and told them to remain poised and that they just needed to win the second half by twelve points. It was a message that his girls were prepared for.
"During halftime, no one was nervous," Ryder said. "We knew that we could beat this team even though we were down by 11 at half; that comes from our competitiveness, practices and preseason practices that are paying off now."
Fresh off this grueling victory which stretched CSU's win streak to nine games, and 16 of the last 17, the Rams now face their toughest challenge to date when they travel to Boise, Idaho to take on second-place Boise State on Wednesday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on KIIX AM 1410
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