CSU bench plays big in Nevada as Rams extend win streak to four

Mack Beaulieu

The Colorado State women’s basketball team (16-7, 8-4 Mountain West) extended it’s winning streak to four games against the University of Nevada (11-10, 4-6 MW) behind a bench-fueled offense and another dominant game on defense as the Rams beat the Wolfpack 65-59.

“It was a very very good, hard fought victory by our basketball team against a Nevada team that plays physical. They make you earn everything and I just thought we played extremely tough tonight,” coach Ryun Williams said in a postgame radio conference. “We had to play small without Veronika (Mirkovic) tonight and I thought our kids did a tremendous job of fighting and making some big plays late.”

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Brady dribbles with left hand
Annie Brady (32) pushes through San Jose State University on Dec. 30. (Tony Villalobos May | Collegian)

The Rams held Nevada to 34 percent shooting for the game and shot 47 percent from the field as well as 46 percent from 3-point range. The bench sparked much of the scoring as freshman guard Lore Devos had a team-leading 15 points and junior Annie Brady had 12 points and seven rebounds, including eight points in the fourth quarter.

“Annie did a great job and she was really good on the glass… and had a really aggressive scoring mentality,” Williams said. “And then Lore, lets face it, if we play her at the right spot and kind of trick them into a big on her, then we have the advantage.”

The Rams started slow in the first quarter, but heated up as the first half went on. CSU used a balanced attack led by Devos’ eight points off the bench to shoot 50 percent from the field and from the 3-point line in the first half. The Rams were fighting for rebounds and loose balls as well and it paid off as they took a 31-25 lead into halftime.

CSU led in every major category for the half, outside of steals and turnovers. Nevada scored eleven points off turnovers in the first half, before scoring none in the second. The worst thing to happen to CSU was with two minutes left in the second quarter when senior forward Veronika Mirkovic went down with an injury. A lengthy review revealed no foul on the play.

A stagnant five minutes of offense let the Wolfpack back into the game early in the third quarter. The Wolfpack shot nine free throws while CSU shot only 33 percent from the field and committed seven fouls. The Rams’ lead was cut to 45-42 at the start of the fourth quarter.

The Wolfpack’s leading scorer for the game, junior Jade Redmon, hit a layup and the ensuing free throw with 9:17 left to give the Wolfpack their last lead of the game. Devos took the lead back with a personal run of five straight points. Brady closed it from there and scored four of the Rams’ last six baskets.

It was a team effort, though, as the Rams had five players score between seven and 15 points. Senior Hannah Tvrdy almost posted a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds and the team benefitted from small scoring streaks from multiple players.

“We have more players that play better this time and so every game it can be someone else and actually everybody helps so that’s the good thing about this team,” Devos said.

Collegian sports reporter Mack Beaulieu can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on twitter @Macknz_James.