Bench players key CSU women’s basketball victory over Drake

WBball_SLideshow-8Ryun Williams praised his two leading scorers on his way into Saturday’s postgame press conference.

“Way to go bench! That’s my bench right there!” he said.

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After dishing out a couple of high fives and words of praise, the CSU women’s basketball head coach took a minute to recognize the performance that bench players Caitlin Duffy and Alicia Nichols had after a 92-77 victory of the Drake University Bulldogs.

“I’m really proud of our bench. When you look at the last two games, you really see what Duffy and Nichols have done for us, and they are why we’ve scored the ball consistently,” Williams said. “In some ways we get better when those two kids come in, both offensively and defensively. To have that as a weapon and to see those kids play with that kind of confidence and productivity is a great night.”

In a game that was riddled with turnovers and basic errors, the team found themselves in foul trouble early and needed the bench to step up to fill the void.

In the first minute of the game, senior Sam Martin found herself with two quick fouls. After she sat out the duration of the first half, she came into the second half and received her third foul 11 seconds in. With 7:28 left in the game, Martin fouled out.

With the Rams veteran starter getting in foul trouble early, Nichols knew she had to step up her game to ensure the Rams offense would not waiver.

“Sam got into foul trouble so that put pressure on me,” Nichols said. “They told me ‘Hey, be ready.’”

Nichols ended the night 10-13 from the field and had no turnovers to speak of. With her perfected game in the post, Nichols had a career high 22 points and ultimately helped lead the Rams to victory.

“It was a great night for Alicia. I hope she gets the game ball tonight because she definitely deserves it,” Williams said.

In addition to what Nichols brought to the court in Moby on Saturday, Duffy came off the bench and found herself as one of the five players that scored in double figures. The sophomore guard ended the game with 16 points and three assists; nine of those points coming from behind the arch.

“I think what is so great about our team is that if one of our best players get is in foul trouble, we can have someone step up and do what Alicia did today,” Duffy said. “So I think its just going to continue to make us a hard team to guard.”

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Basketball beat reporter Hannah Cornish can be reached at sports@collegian.com and on Twitter @hmcornish.