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Women’s basketball team takes down Western to start season 3-0

Stalwart defense proved instrumental for the Rams on Sunday in their matchup against Western Colorado University. The Colorado State women’s basketball team secured a 56-47 win against the Mountaineers, remaining undefeated after their away win against the University of Northern Colorado on Friday.

The Rams came out fast to start the game. Senior forward Annie Brady opened the scoring, making one out of the first two free throws in the game. Brady also dominated the glass early on, collecting four rebounds in the first quarter.

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Liah Davis (34) moves to keep the ball away from Western State Colorado. (Luke Bourland | The Collegian)

The CSU defense came up big in the first quarter, forcing six turnovers and holding the Mountaineers to 22.2% shooting from the field. The Rams’ offense returned the favor by pouring in 20 first quarter points, with redshirt junior Megan Jacobs and guard Tori Williams combining for 12 in the first. The Rams took a 20-11 lead into the second quarter.

The Rams looked to keep the pressure up in the second quarter, with redshirt junior Liah Davis scoring in the first 10 seconds with a well-timed jump-shot. However, that would be the Rams’ last basket for the next seven minutes while the Mountaineers mounted a nine-point scoring streak. This streak cut the Rams’ lead to two points with just under five minutes to play in the first half. 

While the Rams were only able to score eight points in the second quarter, the defense continued to work hard, only allowing 12 points in the second quarter while forcing eight turnovers. CSU was still able to take a 28-23 lead into halftime despite shooting 21.4% (3-14) from the field. 

Shooting troubles continued to bother the Rams in the second half, with Western Colorado briefly taking the lead twice in the third. But the Rams were able to capitalize off of their defense’s effort, with 29 of CSU’s total points coming off turnovers. True freshman guard Katia Stamatelopoulos acted as a catalyst in transition, finishing the game with a game-high seven steals and dishing out three assists, while center Davis poured in 10 second-half points to secure the 56-47 win for Colorado State.

Katia Stamatelopoulos (1) takes a shot against Western Colorado. The Rams won the game 56-47. (Luke Bourland | The Collegian)

While it’s always good to pick up a win, Head Coach Ryun Williams felt there was more than enough to improve on. “It wasn’t a very good, disciplined game for the Rams,” Williams said. “We needed to have better execution offensively. … You can certainly credit our defensive effort for keeping us afloat.”

This game counted as an exhibition for Western Colorado, as they haven’t started their regular season yet.

“You have to give (Western Colorado) credit; they were really scrappy and tough tonight,” Williams said. “But these are good games to learn some very important basketball lessons, and we’ll surely use that to our advantage going forward.”

The Rams improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 2015-16 season, and they will hit the road for their next game against the University of Idaho on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Bailey Shepherd can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @B_Sheps.

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