Colorado State women’s basketball would probably like to leave their Mountain West opener in 2014.
The Rams (8-4, 0-1 MW) fell 75-65 on the road to the Broncos (9-3, 1-0 MW) in a matchup of the two top dogs from the conference’s preseason poll. The two teams were tied for best non-conference record with Fresno State heading into the game.
CSU’s Gritt Ryder turned in a strong all-around performance with 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds, and Elin Gustavsson led the team with 14 points. Boise State was led by their star player Deanna Weaver who finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, and it was Tonishia Childress who scored the Broncos’ first seven points of the game.
Colorado State entered the contest as the top 3-point shooting team in the MW (37 percent) and did not disappoint in the first half by hitting 6-of-10 from deep. Keyora Wharry, who did not start, banked one in from behind the arc to put the Rams up 16-12 with a little over 11 minutes to play. However, the Broncos took control right after with a prolonged 27-12 run over the next nine minutes mostly behind Weaver and the shooting of Yaiza Rodriguez.
Boise State was third in the MW in 3-point field goals made going into the game and showed their shooting prowess with eight 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes to help them carry a 39-33 lead into the break. The Broncos also won the rebounding battle in the opening frame 20-11, and 44-30 overall thanks largely to senior Camille Redmon who cleaned up with 12 boards.
The Rams did not bow out easily though and made a solid push in the second half. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Gustavsson and Jamie Patrick helped the Rams to hang around. Down 54-47, CSU went on a 9-2 capped off by two free-throws from Emilie Hesseldal to tie things up at 56-56 with just under eight minutes remaining.
That was as close as they ever came though. A big 3-pointer by Weaver gave the Broncos a 65-61 cushion at just under the 4-minute mark. The Rams were unable to execute offensively late in the game, making just two of their last 10 field goal attempts, which allowed Boise State to eventually pull away and become the first MW team with a win in conference play.
The Rams will now bring in the new year at Moby Arena, where they play their next game on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT against New Mexico. CSU will be looking for their first win in MW play.
Collegian Sports Reporter Emmett McCarthy can be reached by email at email@example.com and on Twitter @emccarthy22.