Rams fumble their way to victory in sloppy road win

Luke Zahlmann

The winless season continues as Colorado State handed Air Force its 17th loss of the season on their trip up I-25, 40-39.

a player goes up for a shot
Liah Davis goes up for a shot against Wyoming during the Border War game at Moby Arena on Jan. 13. The Rams fell to the Cowgirls 53-49. (Ashley Potts | Collegian)

In a lost season for the young Falcons, the Rams came in overwhelming favorites to push their win total to an even dozen, with a shiny 4-1 record away from Moby Arena. A new starting lineup for the Rams, coach Ryun Williams pushed redshirt freshman Liah Davis into the front court, adding size to the starting unit with Davis being the same height as the tallest player the Falcons had to offer.

Ad

After a quick start, the Falcons cooled off for the middle portion of the first quarter, falling behind the Rams early. Keeping them in the game was the aggressive play of the Rams that caused them to fall into foul trouble, an anomaly for a usually clean Rams squad.

A staggering defense picked up the slack for a foul laden effort, as the Rams once again limited an opponent to a low field goal percentage, holding the Falcons to 25 percent in the opening period.

The fast start to the second quarter gave way to a cold spell, common to the Rams’ offense through 18 games. For the final 6:41 of the second quarter, the Rams went without a single point, allowing their lead to dwindle from 11 to three. 10 turnovers hindered the Falcons from making a serious run at the lead, though the Rams held the lead with 13 turnovers of their own.

A rather even first half statistically, the Rams played down to their competition against the bottom dweller of the conference. The Falcons showed an energy in the opening half that was not present in the Rams, leading to multiple steals and fouls drawn due to a lack of focus on the away side. 14 of the Falcons’ 20 first-half points came off Ram turnovers.

With second half posing as the better of the two for the Rams throughout the year, the trend continued as CSU came out of the locker room a different team. Though the offense remained stagnant, the defense forced four turnovers in the first two minutes alone. Senior Hanna Tvrdy forced half of them on steals by way of errant passes.

Posing as a lone bright spot on the offensive end, Davis racked up 11 points in the game, doing her damage down low and at the free throw line. As a team, the Rams shot 17 free throws in the game, a big plus in a game full of miscues.

The final quarter saw the both teams go cold, causing the clock to tick away, a plus for a Rams team that failed to fully show up. A final quarter total of 16 points between the two teams served as the sloppiest quarter in the worst win of the Rams’ season to this point.

A trip to Las Vegas to take on UNLV will be the next stop for the Rams. With tip at 4 p.m. on Saturday, the Rams have two days to clean up their mistakes and reach a baker’s dozen in the win column.

Collegian sports reporter Luke Zahlmann can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @lukezahlmann.