As the referees went to the instant video replay after the game clock expired, the CSU women’s basketball team held its breath, hoping that the last minute shot that Loyola Marymount University got off wouldn’t be counted.
When it was determined that the ball did not leave the Lions’ hands prior to the buzzer, the Rams walked confidently off the court to secure a home win.
“It was nice to be home in Moby and have a little Moby magic,” senior Sam Martin said.
Coming off of two tough losses in the Hawaii tournament last weekend, the Rams were looking to take those defeats as lessons. CSU applied the knowledge they gained as a team to beat an opponent that they had previously lost to by double digits after having a few days to analyze prior slip-ups.
“Those games in Hawaii were a good experience. We learned a lot and I think we tried to transfer it over today to not give up any dumb decisions in those last two seconds,” junior AJ Newton said. “We learned that you just have to come out ready for two halves. We were up 13 against Chattanooga in the second half and we let them come back and it shouldn’t have ever happened. We should have kept making the lead increase.”
The Rams took their recent losses a learning experience, but a major aspect of Thursday night’s win came in the form of the only veteran starter the Rams have. Martin ended her night with a career-high 20 points, in addition to four assists and five rebounds. Her presence on the court throughout the entire night was nothing short of dominating and ultimately led to the Ram’s success.
“When we needed a senior to step up, a senior stepped up tonight,” head coach Ryun Williams said. “So I’m really proud of how Sam (Martin) played.”
After having played eight regular season games together, the team’s chemistry is starting to come together for a roster with eight new starters. In the end, it came down to which team was tougher and this time the Rams came out on top.
“With each experience and with each close game, we’re going to get better and we’re handling each game better,” Williams said. “We gutted it out”
Collegian Sports Reporter Hannah Cornish can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.