The Rams are looking more and more like a tournament team as they improve to 12-1 overall (2-0 Mountain West) with a road decisive road win over UNLV (7-6, 0-2 MW). Colorado State got out to a 9-0 start and never gave that lead up once to the Lady Rebels all night.
Jamie Patrick led CSU with 15 points, while Ellen Nystrom notched a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Elin Gustavsson finished in double figures as well with nine of her 11 coming in the first quarter.
It was another stingy defensive effort put forth once again by CSU. The Lady Rebels were held to just one field goal in the first quarter and trailed 15-5 after the opening period. It was the 15th time this season that CSU has held its opponent to single digits in a quarter. The Rebels were without star forward Aley Rohde, which allowed the Rams to dominate the boards 18-8 in the first.
Both teams struggled shooting the deep ball. They were a combined 0-for-17 from behind the arc before a Patrick 3-pointer put CSU up 21-9. Nikki Wheatly provided some spark for the Rebels, scoring their first seven points. But, UNLV’s leading scorer Brooke Johnson, who entered the contest averaging 14.4 points per game, was held scoreless (0-for-6 FG) in the first half.
After carrying a 28-18 lead into the half, the Rams picked up where they left off by scoring on their first three possessions of the third quarter.
A string of turnovers, fouls and missed free throws allowed the Lady Rebels to cut a 56-41 lead in the fourth quarter down to 58-52 with 1:02 remaining. However, Patrick and Ellen Nystrom were eventually able to put the game away from the line.
CSU is back in action Saturday at 2 p.m. when the Rams host San Jose State at Moby Arena.
Collegian Sports Editor Emmett McCarthy can be reached by email at email@example.com and on Twitter @emccarthy22.