Rams look for season sweep as they welcome Aztecs to Moby

Luke Zahlmann

Colorado State women’s basketball will host San Diego State Wednesday evening and attempt to secure the season sweep over the Aztecs.

When the Rams headed out to Las Vegas, the hope was to climb back up in the Mountain West standings and gain ground on the teams above them. Unfortunately, the Rams were undone by their stagnant offense and turnovers. In back-to-back games, turnovers have been an issue for the team and their normally clean ways have gone awry.

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Tryggedsson runs up court
Sofie Tryggedsson (5) looks for an opening against San Jose State University on Dec. 30. (Tony Villalobos May | Collegian)

“We watch film on (turnovers) and see they really hurt us,” guard Sofie Tryggedsson said. “Especially in the UNLV game, we had a lot of turnovers in the last couple of plays that cost us the game.”

On the other end of the spectrum, the Aztecs are coming off a home victory in a hard-fought battle over New Mexico. The Aztecs put up 97 points in the win, an accomplishment that has eluded the Rams. However, though they are coming directly off a win, it was only their second in the last eight games. The Rams have accrued a 4-4 record in their last eight games.

The Aztecs boast one of the premier guards in the conference in senior McKynzie Fort. Leading in minutes and also points, Fort lies as the soul of the Aztecs, with the team going as far as she can take them. In the two team’s previous matchup, Fort nearly notched a triple-double with 22 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists.

“They have a big-time player in Fort,” coach Ryun Williams said. “If we can contain that guard play, that’s going to be a big key.”

The Rams happen to boast a key guard duo as well in senior Hannah Tvrdy and redshirt freshman Grace Colaivalu. The two accounted for 45 of the Rams’ 65 points in their previous matchup with the Aztecs, highlight reel games from each player.

“Our kids defensively are always up for the challenge,” Williams said. “I don’t think it matters if they’ve got dominant guards or what, they know they’re going to have to play well against Fort and Gomez because if not, you get beat.”

A welcome sign for the Rams was the awakening of their snipers from outside the arc with junior Sofie Tryggedsson and redshirt senior Stine Austgulen both having one of their best games of the season. The two accounted for 31 of the team’s 52 points in the loss, with nine of their makes coming from outside the arc. Austgulen once again played a full 40 minutes, her fourth straight game without taking a seat.

“We need to (always) look forward and look for the next (opportunity),” Tryggedsson said. “If we keep thinking about the bad stuff we do, we’re just going to get ourselves down.”

Austgulen has risen up for the Rams, placing herself among the nation’s elite in 3-point shooting. Sixth overall in the NCAA, Austgulen has shot the ball at a .479 clip from outside, a figure that would reside as the program’s record.

A slow start to the season has Austgulen sitting at second for the team in points per game; but after her 17-point outburst in their most recent game, the Rams sharpshooter figures to stay on her ascending path for the young squad.

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The Rams will welcome San Diego State into Moby on Wednesday night, with tip shortly after 7 p.m. With an 8-6 record in their friendly confines, the Rams will look to make it nine with their season sweep of the Aztecs.

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