For the second consecutive game, the CSU women’s hoops team won in a blowout at home Wednesday night over in-state opponent University of Denver to give head coach Ryun Williams his 300th career win.
Coming off of a rout of South Dakota School of Mines Tuesday night, the Rams buried the Pioneers 81-61 Wednesday in part two of their four-game home stand.
With smothering defense forcing 22 DU turnovers, the Rams maintained steady control the whole way, totaling 22 assists as a team with only eight turnovers.
DU (2-7) kept it close out of the gate, keeping it tied at at eight five minutes in, but CSU (6-3) gained command from a 14-0 run that left the Pioneers down 22-8 just after the midway mark of the first.
Gritt Ryder facilitated off the dribble to get the Rams open looks. The senior dished nine assists in the first frame to go along with five points and four rebounds, helping the Rams build the 15-point lead they took into the break, 43-28. Ryder finished a point shy of a double-double with nine points, 12 assists and five rebounds.
“Our shooters are starting to make a lot of shots and (the offense) is flowing really well right now,” Ryder said. “When the team is going, it’s easy to get myself going too.”
CSU came out of the locker with guns blazing to all but end the game within the first four minutes of the second half.
Keyora Wharry scored CSU’s first six points of the half, the first two of which came off a reverse layup set up by an Ellen Nystrom pass under the hoop.
Wharry finally got shots created by her difficult and athletic moves around defenders to go down Wednesday night, leading the way for the Rams with 17 points on 8-13 shooting.
“The start of the second half, Keyora was dynamite,” Williams said. “You can see she’s just a special athlete. She played great.”
The Rams continued their clinic of half course offense to outscore the Pioneers 13-1 in the opening four minutes of the second, mounting a 56-29 lead before Ellen Nystrom picked up her fourth foul and was forced to come out of the game.
From there, CSU turned on cruise control for a stretch before DU sank some jumpers to cut the Rams’ lead to 16.
Ryun Williams called timeout, though, refocusing his players and sending Nystrom back into the game, who sank a three pointer almost immediately to restore her team’s confidence.
The Rams sailed on to victory as Denver never made it relatively close again before the buzzer.
CSU’s next game is against Florida Atlantic Sunday at 12 p.m. at Moby Arena.
Collegian Sports Reporter Sam Lounsberry can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @samlounz.