Lobos strike on Rams Senior Day, hand CSU seventh-consecutive loss

Sergio Santistevan

After a heart-breaking loss Wednesday night to the Mountain West’s top team, Boise State University, the Colorado State women’s basketball team welcomed another conference contender to Moby Arena on Saturday in hopes of ending their home season with a win.

She played so hard and I thought played really well. We’re so happy she decided to come to Colorado State as a grad transfer. She’s been our most productive kid in conference season…she’s meant a lot.

Ryun Williams

With Senior Day emotions in the air, Tatum Neubert and the Rams looked to upset the University of New Mexico in front of the Moby Faithful.

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“This is my last year of playing college basketball and my family was in the stands and so many of my friends,” Neubert said. “This team is the closest I’ve been with any team I’ve ever played with, so it was definitely bittersweet.”

Despite showing a lot of heart, the Rams’ fight wasn’t enough to upend the Lobos as CSU tied its season-record with its seventh-consecutive loss, 79-56. 

In the previous meeting with the Lobos, CSU limited one of the conference’s best players, Jaisa Nunn, under her season averages in both points and rebounds. In their most recent matchup, Nunn showed why she was awarded All-Conference Team a season ago by limiting the Rams inside the paint and forcing them to shoot from the outside.

(Devin Cornelius | Collegian) Tatum Neubert celebrates with her family as she was honored for CSU Senior Day.

CSU Head Coach Ryun Williams was quick to praise the Lobos center, comparing her to an NBA great.

“I think she’s (Nunn) the best player in the league,” Williams said. “She’s just got a very skilled game; she’s got a very physical game … she’s got hands like Tim Duncan.”

Williams gave credit to his senior, Neubert, for limiting Nunn in a tough matchup and playing well all season.

“She played so hard and I thought played really well. We’re so happy she decided to come to Colorado State as a grad transfer,” Williams said. “She’s been our most productive kid in conference season … she’s meant a lot.”

UNM proved from the early going that the Rams were going to have to score the ball often to remain competitive. The Lobos shot 50 percent from the field, while CSU shot 41.2 percent as UNM built a five-point lead at the end of the first ten minutes.

With neither team great at shooting from the three-point line, the second quarter coincidentally resulted in both teams knocking down over forty-four percent of their three-point shots. The Lobos offense ended the half on 8-0 run to take a double-digit into the locker room.

The Lobos came into the matchup shooting 30.5 from three-point range but shot 38.7 percent against CSU and attempted 31 shots from beyond the arc.

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“You have to pick your poison when you play New Mexico,” Williams said. “They shot it well today … we have a hard time applying pressure to shooters.”

Coming out of the locker room, CSU’s main strength all season came alive.

The Rams defense came to play by holding UNM field-goal less for nearly seven minutes in the quarter after switching to man-to-man defense. The Lobos shot a whopping 13.2% from the field, making only two shots the entire quarter, with the only two shots netting in being three-pointers.

“We clogged the paint off of a few kids and we said those are the kids that are going to have to shoot it, and they missed. Fourth quarter they didn’t miss,” said Williams.

(Devin Cornelius | Collegian) Myanne Hamm shots a three-pointer against UNM. Hamm led all scorers with 14 points in the 79-56 loss.

The Lobos put the icing on the cake in the final minutes by making eight of their last 10 field goals to end the game.

CSU (8-19, 2-14) will finish their regular season with back-to-back road games on Monday and Thursday against Utah State University and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

After the regular season concludes, CSU will head to the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 10, where they are currently slated to be the 11th seed.

Myanne Hamm led the Rams players in scoring with 14 points and added six rebounds. Hamm, who is one of the only players with experience in the Mountain West Tournament, knows anything is possible.

“Anything can happen. I think that’s the beauty and scary part of tournaments,” Hamm said. “Yeah, this season hasn’t really gone the way we wanted it or expected it but we can turn it around and we can really come out as strong as we can in this tournament and show people what we can really do.”

Collegian sports reporter Sergio Santistevan can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TheRealsSergio.