In a game that may have nearly given head coach Ryun Williams a heart attack, it was the Rams who once again reigned victorious. Colorado State held off San Diego State’s second half comeback effort to pick up a tough 60-57 win on the road.
CSU moves to 14-1 overall with the win and remains unbeaten in the Mountain West (4-0). Alana Arias recorded a double-double while coming off of the bench. She led the Rams with 16 points and 10 rebounds. McKynzie Fort led the rally for SDSU, and led all scorers with 20 points.
The Rams took a commanding lead early and seemed like they would not let up. The Aztecs were unable to crack double digits until the second quarter. CSU took a 31-18 lead into the half after out-rebounding the Aztecs 22-9. Despite coughing the ball up five more times in the first half, the Rams scored more points in transition and off of turnovers than SDSU. The Aztecs did not get any scoring from their bench in the first.
But then the second half happened.
The Aztecs capitalized on some early second half turnovers. Back-to-back layups by Ahjalee Harvey cut CSU’s lead to just 40-37 at the end of the third quarter. SDSU took its first lead of the game early in the fourth quarter when Lexy Thorderson hit a jumper to put the Aztecs up 41-40.
CSU responded with six straight points, but Thorderson eventually tied things up at 50-50. The Rams would reclaim the lead, and Jamie Patrick finished off a layup with 0:50 remaining to make it a two-possession game, 58-53.
Fort cut that lead down to 58-55, and Keyora Wharry missed two free throws which allowed SDSU a chance to tie. Fort was instead fouled by Ellen Nystrom with 0:13 remaining. Fort made both free throws, but Nystrom then made two of her own on the other end. Fort missed on a 3-pointer to tie with four seconds left.
CSU escaped San Diego with the win despite 19 turnovers. The loss drops the Aztecs to 6-9 overall and 1-3 in the MW.
The Rams will be back on the road Saturday when they face Utah State at 2 p.m.
Collegian Sports Editor Emmett McCarthy can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @emccarthy22.