Loyola Marymount hit the floor running and the CSU women’s basketball team couldn’t keep up.
The Lions defeated the Rams 69-52 Wednesday night in Los Angeles behind 14 fast break points.
CSU turned the ball over 23 times in the game, which led to 22 points for Loyola –– a team known for their defensive pressure.
“We underestimated their pressure as a team, we haven’t seen that kind pressure and for our younger girls it was something that shocked us,” senior Megan Heimstra said. “We were being tentative and not aggressive.”
Loyola led by as many as 23 points in the second half, taking a 69-52 advantage on a jump shot by freshman guard Deanna Johnson.
The Rams fell into a 16-1 hole early and never pulled within single digits for the rest of the game.
“In the first half I thought we scratched and clawed, their lead could have been 25 points at halftime,” CSU coach Ryun Williams said. “I don’t think our kids hung their heads. We were a little overwhelmed by their quickness and they had some better players on the floor than we did tonight.”
CSU’s loose control of the ball also resulted in a poor shooting percentage. The Rams shot 25.4 percent from the field and only 13 percent from behind the three point line.
No CSU player shot better than 50 percent from the field, but sophomore LeDeyah Forte and senior Megan Heimstra scored in double digits for the Rams with 11 and 12 points respectively.
“Their pressure forced us to take some rushed shots in the beginning,” Heimstra said. “We have great three-point shooters who got great looks and those just weren’t falling. All it took was a couple threes to get us back in the game and we couldn’t get those to fall.”
The Lions shot 40.8 percent from the field and were lead by 16 points from preseason all-West Coast Conference performer Alex Cowling.
CSU trailed Loyola 16-28 at halftime after shooting 0-11 from the three point line and 20 percent from the field.
The Rams have now lost two consecutive games after a 2-1 start and will play their next three games away from home.
CSU will not return to Fort Collins before their next game Saturday at Bowling Green.
“I think we need to look in the mirror and say that’s something that should never happen,” Heimstra said. “We should have been with this team, we’ve gotta focus up and keep our heads up.”