Rams run away in rout over Eastern New Mexico in season opener

Mack Beaulieu

The Colorado State women’s basketball team got off to a rocky start in its season opener, but a hot shooting second half from a group of young Rams helped them outpace the University of Eastern New Mexico, 72-46.

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The Rams got big contributions from sophomores Lore Devos and Lena Svanholm. Preseason newcomer of the year, junior Mollie Mounsey, shook off any jitters towards the end of the second half. Early on though, it was a surprisingly close game with the Greyhounds after the Rams won by 40 points last year.

CSU player shoots
Tatum Neubert(44) knocks down a freethrow,during CSU’s home game vs Eastern NM on November 6th 2018. The Rams win 72-46.(Devin Cornelius | Collegian)

“We’ve just got to be a stronger basketball team, a tougher-minded basketball team,” Coach Ryun Williams said. “Some kids had individual performances there in the second half … but overall, my standard and I hope their standard is a little different. We should be playing a little tougher and more determined basketball than we did in that first half.”

The Rams got off to a quick start behind the inside presence of senior Tatum Neubert and Svanholm, who combined for eight of the teams’ first eleven points. Svanholm opened up with a three and then capitalized on her 6-foot-6-inch frame and scored an easy two points. 

Rams sharpshooter Mounsey drained her first three as a Ram in the regular season with about 3:57 minutes remaining in the first.

It was a welcome sight for the Rams, who went 3-8 from outside in the first period. Everyone expects Mounsey to be making three’s all season. But if her teammates can knock down shots, it would mean a lot to a Rams team that had the nation’s 40th best defense last year.

“She’s the best shooter in the gym every night,” Williams said. “I think when you’re a scorer you’re going to have to shoot some extra shots. I want her to have more of a green light mentality, so to speak.”

The sheer volume of outside shots the Greyhounds was launching helped keep them in the game through the first quarter until they started to get physical on the boards as well as driving to the rim. That helped the Greyhounds to take their first lead with 3:17 left in the second. The Greyhounds spread the ball around, but their guard play keyed the late first-half run that gave the visitors a 27-26 lead at the half.

Devos came out firing in the second half, scoring the Rams’ first six points. The Rams’ defense clamped down as well compared to the first half. They were able to get hands in the passing lanes constantly and handled switches well enough to get a hand in the face of the Greyhounds’ shooters. The visitors didn’t score until 2:51 minutes remained in the third.

Mounsey had been quiet up until a buzzer beater before the final period, but the fourth quarter started with Mounsey in a lead guard role and she showed she’s more than a shooter with a nice transition assist to start the quarter’s scoring and then a couple minutes later hit her third three of the game.

“She’s the best shooter in the gym every night”Ryun Williams

From there, things began to unwind for the Greyhounds as they carried over turnover issues from the third quarter. Turnovers were huge in this game, with the Greyhounds committing more than twice as many in the second half as they did in the first. 

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CSU players sprint on a fastbreak
Mollie Mounsey(24) sprints down the court on a fastbreak during CSU’s home game vs Eastern NM on November 6th 2018. The Rams win 72-46.(Devin Cornelius | Collegian)

Svanholm and Mounsey both had their moments in the second half, propelling mini-runs. Mounsey moved the ball well on top of her shooting and Svanholm was ready to shoot when the ball got to her.

“I think the way we were moving the ball tonight and the way they were getting it to me fit me really well,” Svanholm said. “But I should be making those on the worst nights.”

However, it was Devos who really took the game over. The guard poured in 16 points in the second half on 7-9 shooting to help put the Greyhounds away. 

Ultimately though, the game was a mixed bag for the Rams in a match that looked to be more lopsided than it turned out to be.

“The thing that I don’t think should take time is your effort and how hard you play,” Williams said. “It has everything to do with just saying, ‘Alright, I’m going to go get it. I’m going to out battle my person.’ I don’t care if you’re a freshman or a senior … Show us some fight, and I think that’s where this team can really grow.”

Mack Beaulieu can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @Mack_Covers.