It is only the second game into the 2013-14 season and it is evident a new team has stepped onto the court. With a point to point match in the first half of play the CSU women’s basketball proved it can compete against ranked teams this season.
With just a 35 percent shooting rate on the night, room for improvement remains after a 63-59 loss against No.17 CU-Boulder.
“The kids battled, may be not the cleanest game but Colorado makes you play that way,” Ryun Williams said. “I’m quite encouraged by the will of this team and the fact that they just kept trying to find a way.”
The Rams remained within points of the Buffs in the first half until a final first half push to 33-27. CSU did not feel it was out of the game heading into the locker room. While the Rams came out slow in the first minute into the second half, passes began to click trailing by 13 points with six minutes remaining.
As the clock fell from 2:11 to 30.2 seconds remaining in the second half, CSU continued to fight trailing CU, 59-60. With two fouls in a matter of second to hold the clock, the Rams final push in the second half could not pull the victory out. CU capitalized on the line to increase its score by four points.
“We did not execute as well as we needed to,” Williams said. “I just think sometimes these big games may be you are a little too amped up, a little too anxious and I think you saw some shots rim in and out early where we had just a little too much juice flowing.”
Williams knew heading to the court that this team could compete. Within the first three minutes against CU last season, the game was over as the Buffs went to dominate the Rams 72-46.
It was a combination between the defenses ability to force turn over and the offense to find key passing opportunities to sneak baskets over the Buffs. CSU had a 21-60 shooting rate while just four of which came from the three-point line. It could have been a different game in Moby Arena if the Rams were to connect more shots in the net.
“I think when it ends like that it is really hard because we did earn that,” Caitlin Duffy said. “We should have had that. I also think that is what is going to make us a better team…we are not even playing our best basketball at all yet and we are still light years ahead of where we were last year at this time.”
Though it is a devastating loss to Colorado rival, it is important to note that CU is currently ranked No.17 in the nation where as CSU does not currently rank. With an increased shooting percentage and rebounds on the offense, the Rams are one step closer to winning tough games such as Tuesday nights.
A new leader on the court for CSU this season is forward Elin Gustavsson. She guided the offense with 21 points and five rebounds which put the Rams in a winning opportunity. Along side Gustavvson was Sam Martin who had 10 points and Duffy with 13.
In the minds of the players, it is hard to think they let a victory slip within its hands. Feeling down after just falling within points, the Rams will take this game and push themselves in practice to make sure this last minute comeback results in a win next time.
“Right now it feels like crap,” Gustavvson said. “May be tomorrow we will look at this and see that we made a good game.”
Collegian beat reporter Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org