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

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.

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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.

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About the Contributor
Devin Cornelius
Devin Cornelius, Digital Managing Editor
Devin Cornelius is the digital managing editor for The Collegian. He is a fifth-year computer science major from Austin, Texas. He moved to Colorado State University and started working for The Collegian in 2017 as a photographer. His passion for photography began in high school, so finding a photography job in college was one of his top priorities. He primarily takes sports photos, volleyball being his favorite to shoot. Having been on The Collegian staff for 4 1/2 years, he's watched the paper evolve from a daily to a weekly paper, and being involved in this transition is interesting and exciting. Although Cornelius is a computer science major, his time at The Collegian has been the most fulfilling experience in his college career — he has loved every second. From working 12-hour days to taking photos in Las Vegas for the Mountain West Conference, he cannot think of a better place to work. Working as a photographer for The Collegian pushed him outside of his comfort zone, taking him places that he never expected and making him the photographer he is today. As the digital managing editor, Cornelius oversees the photos, graphics and social media of The Collegian along with other small tech things. Working on the editorial staff with Katrina Leibee and Serena Bettis has been super fun and extremely rewarding, and together they have been pushing The Collegian toward being an alt-weekly. Outside of The Collegian, he enjoys playing volleyball, rugby, tumbling and a variety of video games. When in Austin, you can find him out on the lake, wake surfing, wake boarding and tubing. You can expect that Cornelius and the rest of The Collegian staff will do their best to provide you with interesting and exciting content.

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