After two consecutive road losses against stiff competition, Wednesday afternoon came at just the right time for the CSU women’s basketball team.
The Rams flexed their muscles and dominated Division II in-state opponent Adams State to the tune of a 76-29 drubbing at Moby Arena.
The win comes after the Rams fell to No. 15 Washington on Nov. 14 in a second round matchup of the WNIT. CSU then played a consolation game of that same tournament in Lincoln, NE., last Thursday, dropping it to the Cornhuskers narrowly by a score of 62-59.
There was no such doubt about how this one would go, at least not after the first quarter. After a bit of a sluggish start that saw Adams State lead 9-8 after the opening period, the Rams (2-2) poured it on the Grizzlies. CSU went on an unheard of 31-0 run that lasted most of the second quarter and completely blew the game open.
During the second quarter alone, the Rams scored 22 points off of turnovers. For the game, the Rams converted 28 Adams State turnovers into 37 points while swiping 20 steals. CSU also sent away a program-record 13 shots, including six blocks from Anna Dreimane who had six in only 12 minutes of action.
Elin Gustavsson led the scoring with 12 points while Stine Austgulen was right behind with her with 11, including three 3-pointers. Ellen Nystrom added 10 for the Rams, and with that she became only the 19th player in program history to surpass the 1,000 point mark for a career. She joins Gustavvson, who went over 1,000 mark last week.
“It’s always cool to make a mark,” Nystrom said. “But it is nothing I think about because it’s just points and I’m going to do whatever to help the team get wins.”
Nystrom’s reaction to the milestone was rather unselfish. And, interestingly. Williams pointed out how both Nystrom and Gustavsson have reached that accolade in a selfless manner. They haven’t taken a boatload of shots to reach 1,000, they’ve done it efficiently and unselfishly.
“They’re two of the more unselfish kids,” he said. “Usually 1,000 point scorers- they’re scorers. These two are just basketball players and they would probably be more pleased with 1,000 assists than points. I think that makes them unique as well.”
One of the benefits of Wednesday’s beat down was head coach Ryun Williams was able to get meaningful minutes for everyone on the roster. And everyone that got in scored, as well. As players continue to settle into their new roles for the first time, this was critical for boosting their confidence and continuing to progress.
“We still have a number of players that are playing different roles,” Williams said. “They need game-minutes and within those they need to gain confidence. I think you saw that as the game progressed. To do it in practice is one thing, but to do it in a game is another animal. The energy that the second group brought, I thought that was the key to the game today…I thought that got us going and that group (second group) has maybe struggled a bit, so for that group to be our heartbeat tonight, I’m really proud of that.”
CSU will be back out on the road for another tough test against No. 13 Oklahoma on Sunday in Norman at 1 p.m. MT.
Sports Reporter Michael Roley can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @michael_roley