Women’s basketball takes early exit from Mountain West tournament

Bailey Bassett

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LAS VEGAS — The Colorado State University women’s basketball campaign in the Air Force Reserve Mountain West Conference Championship came to an early and upsetting end.

I’m so proud of these kids, they’re definitely champions. This whole season was a championship season for them in regards to how they handled everything with (COVID-19).” – Ryun Williams, head coach of CSU women’s basketball

The three-seeded Rams were upset on Monday by six-seed Boise State University, losing 78-65. The final score was not indicative of the whole story, as CSU competed to the final whistle. 


CSU did a great job of limiting Mallory McGwire. The 6-foot-5-inch center didn’t score her first field goal until the second quarter and she was limited on the glass. While McGwire’s rebounding ability was hindered, Boise State as a team dominated the Rams. Taking complete control of the paint, the Broncos outrebounded CSU 51-33. 

Jade Loville finished with a game-high 29 points, as the junior’s mid-range shot was pretty much unguardable. Her high-elevating, high-releasing form prevented anyone from slowing her down, and when CSU overplayed her shot, she drove with force to the rim. CSU won both of their regular season performances over Boise State by 20 points or more, but Loville wasn’t hitting her shots in those games, and she was clearly the difference-maker in this one. 

The Rams were an offensive juggernaut for most of the season. Their offense took a slight dip late in the season but their defense improved to make up for it. Against the Broncos, the reverse happened – the offense came back to life by way of senior Lore Devos’ new career-high of 26 points, but CSU couldn’t buy a defensive stop. Unfortunately, Devos’ hot hand did not continue late into the game. While attempting to mount a comeback, Devos was limited to just one attempted field goal in the fourth quarter.

The Mountain West’s Newcomer of the Year, McKenna Hofschild, had a down game for the Rams as well. After averaging 13.4 points and 5.4 assists throughout the season, Hofschild was only able to put up four points and two assists before fouling out with 1:57 left in the game. The sophomore’s first field goal didn’t come until the fourth quarter. Hofschild’s presence was definitely missed late in the game.

“(Hofschild’s) our motor, she’s our engine, and we lean on that a lot,” head coach Ryun Williams said in the post-game press conference.

After the disappointing loss, Williams was visibly emotional when commenting on the lengths this team has gone to compete this year.

“I’m so proud of these kids, they’re definitely champions,” Williams said. “This whole season was a championship season for them in regards to how they handled everything with (COVID-19).”

Boise State will now advance to the semifinals where they will take on the University of Wyoming. The Cowgirls have won both of their tournament games and upset the second seed University of Nevada, Las Vegas earlier in the day.  

Wyoming has been spectacular defensively all season, but they added a new element to their game against UNLV. They were absolutely unconscious from three, as Wyoming knocked down 15 of 32 shots from deep. Their 15 threes were a Mountain West Conference tournament record

Bailey Bassett can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @baileybassett_.