Women’s basketball back on track, set for 1st conference game

Bailey Shepherd

Sometimes it’s not about how you win; it’s only important that you win. This was the case for the Colorado State women’s basketball team on Sunday as they salvaged a 52-40 victory over the visiting UC Riverside Highlanders.

The Rams headed into Sunday’s bout after winning in convincing fashion on Tuesday, blowing out visiting Incarnate Word 75-47. However, the Rams’ offensive potency didn’t seem to carry over into Sunday’s matchup against the Highlanders.


Makenzie Ellis (11) shoots a layup
Makenzie Ellis (11) shoots a layup during the Colorado State’s home game against the University of Colorado on Nov. 22. CSU fell 79-75. (Devin Cornelius | Collegian)

After Makenzie Ellis opened the scoring in the game with a nicely executed jump shot, the Rams and the Highlanders both struggled to put the ball in the basket. UC Riverside shot 3-14 (21.4%) from the field in the first quarter while the Rams shot a slightly more impressive 5-17 (29.4%). The period ended with the Rams up 11-8.

The second quarter only went worse for both teams. This sloppy opening half should come as a surprise to most people who have been following the Rams this season, especially when you consider that CSU is leading the Mountain West Conference in 3-point percentage (38.9%) and is second in 3-point shots made (70). The Rams were only able to muster a measly two buckets from deep, despite taking 16 shots from behind the arc in the second quarter.

However, both teams looked brighter going into the second half. The Rams were able to confidently close out the Highlanders, scoring 18 points in the final quarter to give the Rams their second win after breaking their three-game losing streak. Sunday’s win means CSU moves up to third in the Mountain West Conference standings before they head to California to take on the San Diego State Aztecs for their first conference game of the season.

The Aztecs are currently on a three-game losing streak, suffering losses to California, UC Santa Barbara and Arkansas State. Their offense has not been very potent this season, as SDSU currently sits at eighth in the conference in field goal percentage, shooting 37.6% from the field and 32.8% from deep on the year. SDSU is going to have to find a way to be more effective offensively if they want to get a victory against CSU.

The teams rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the conference in blocked shots per game: SDSU with an average of 4.25 and the Rams with 4.13 per contest. 

The Rams currently top the Mountain West Conference in defense, allowing an average of 57.9 points per game, keeping their opponents’ field goal percentages to an average of 35.1%, which also tops the Mountain West. This makes it very likely that the Rams will secure their first conference win of the season and prolong the Aztecs’ current losing streak to four games in a row.

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