CSU falls prey to late-game run by Wolfpack in Reno

Jess Boxrud

After a successful out-of-conference schedule to begin the year, Colorado State’s slide against Mountain West opponents continued Wednesday night. 

On the road in Reno, Nevada, the Rams fell once again to the University of Nevada, 68-57. Though CSU lost by 11 points, the Rams were able to maintain a steady two-point gap with Nevada until the fourth quarter.

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Mollie Mounsey scored 17 points for the Rams, scoring back-to-back buckets in the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Fellow newcomer Tatum Neubert was the top scorer with 18 points, and her pair of made 3-pointers in the third quarter contributed to the tied score held by the Rams.

The first quarter ended with Nevada only leading by three points. The Rams held their ground and led by five points after Lore Devos and Neubert scored several shots inside the arc, followed by Mounsey with a swished 3-pointer. 

Mollie Mounsey prepares to shoot during the game against University of Nevada Jan. 23. (Ashley Potts | Collegian)

Freshman Taylor Mole made her first basket of the game right before the end of the quarter, keeping CSU ahead, 19-16.

Nevada started off the second quarter by pulling ahead after a pair of free throws, leaving the score 20-19, Nevada.

On the subsequent possession, Nevada’s strong defense forced a CSU shot-clock violation. After a timeout from Nevada, the Rams garnered back the lead behind Lauren Brocke steal and Myanne Hamm 3-pointer to put the Rams up 29-27.

The second quarter ended with a tied score of 31-31, keeping the Rams in close proximity after being behind by two points until the last few minutes.

Nevada scored the first basket out of the break, but Devos was fouled multiple times giving her the opportunity to make free throws and pull the team ahead. Nevada countered each basket the Rams made, with a timeout leaving the teams tied 42-42.

Mounsey successfully converted her free throws to keep the two-point lead consistent against the Wolfpack. The last eight seconds led to Mounsey scoring one out of her two free throws and Devos attempting a half-court shot as the clock ran out, leading into the fourth quarter. The Rams trailed by a lone point, 46-45. 

“I’m proud of the fight, but that’s not good enough,” Coach Ryun Williams said. “We need more, we need production from everybody.”  

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Neubert gave CSU momentum in the last quarter by scoring a 3-pointer to momentarily recapture the lead.

The Rams stayed with Nevada for the first five minutes of the quarter, but the hosts pulled ahead by making a pair of free throws, and the margin reached 55-53.

Another shot clock violation, followed by another Nevada made free throw increased the gap further. A 3-pointer increased their lead to six. 

“You’ve gotta make some plays,” Williams said. “A couple costly turnovers and missed assignments defensively and boom, 7-point lead (is gone).” 

The run proved to be the final one in Nevada’s favor as the Rams’ late-game fouling failed to lessen the deficit. 

The Rams will return home for a matinee Border War matchup against Wyoming on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. in the two team’s opening bout of the year.

Jess Boxrud can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @jessica_boxrud.