Rams use hot start to down Falcons 60-40 in conference play

Ryan Loberger

At the midway point in the season, there’s always habits that need to be corrected and aspects of your game that need to be fine-tuned. For the Colorado State women’s basketball team, a full 40 minutes of strong play was needed to curve a trend that cost the Rams their last two games.

Coming off two losses where the Rams led at the half only to let that lead and a victory slip away, the Rams rebounded on Saturday with a 60-40 win over the Air Force Academy. 


“Coming off some tough losses, we knew it was important to come out (in) this game hard, and I think it showed in that first quarter,” forward Makenzie Ellis said.

After securing the opening tipoff and scoring the game’s first point, the Rams never relinquished their lead. Good defense and efficient shooting propelled CSU to a victory and helped amend some of their third-quarter struggles. 

“Our third quarters have been awful,” head coach Ryun Williams said. “Defensively, all night it was hard for them to get on any runs and gain any momentum offensively.”

The first half ended with the Rams up 29-13. The two teams combined for 17 turnovers and just 14 points scored in the second quarter. CSU had multiple turnovers off miscommunications where players didn’t even know the ball was coming to them.

“Well the Rams needed a win, and we got one,” Williams said. “The (team) did a lot of positive things today against an Air Force team that’s quite disruptive, and they do some things to make you look silly and ugly at times.”

CSU’s strong defense prevailed in the second half, preventing Air Force from going on an extended scoring run to bring them back into the game. 

The players that made the difference for the Rams’ offensive attack were Ellis and Jamie Bonnarens; the pair combined for 32 of the team’s 60 points. Ellis was dialed in with 19 points, shooting 7-11 from the field and 3-3 from beyond the arc. Bonnarens was a sound 3-6 from three and 5-10 from the field, adding 13 points of her own. CSU also held the Falcons scoreless from three, as Air Force shot 0-13.

A player’s impact on the outcome of the game can’t always be seen on the box score and doesn’t necessarily translate into good statistical numbers. At a glance, Megan Jacobs’ 3-10 shooting and 2-7 from the three don’t jump out at you, but her coach had plenty to say about her performance in the game.

“I thought (Jacobs) from a coaching standpoint was exceptional,” Williams said. “If you look at the shooting, maybe not her best (night), but when we needed to stretch that thing in the fourth, she hit two daggers.”


Williams also added he was pleased with how Jacobs contested Air Force’s Kaelin Immel, forcing her to work for all of her 17 points in the match. 

The win put the Rams back at .500 on the season with a 9-9 record. CSU will travel to Fresno State next for a meeting with the conference-leading Bulldogs on Jan. 22. Fresno has not lost in Mountain West play this season.

Ryan Loberger can be reached a sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @Lobergerryan.