Rams basketball took a back seat in annual Fight like a Ram matchup

Colorado+State+University+guard+Cailyn+Crocker+%2832%29+steals+the+ball+from+the+University+of+Nevada%2C+Las+Vegas+at+Moby+Arena+Jan.+21%2C+2023.+The+Rams+lost+63-58%2C+with+UNLV+serving+CSU+their+sole+Mountain+West+Conference+loses+of+the+season.

Collegian | Serena Bettis

Colorado State University guard Cailyn Crocker (32) steals the ball from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas at Moby Arena Jan. 21, 2023. The Rams lost 63-58, with UNLV serving CSU their sole Mountain West Conference loses of the season.

Mike Walsh

Damon Cook , Staff Reporter

Throughout the week the C0lorado State University women’s basketball had the opportunity to meet and connect with warriors who are battling cancer as part of the Fight like a Ram program through a CSU and UCHealth partnership.

In their game against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Rebels, CSU honored each of the warriors, including a heart-warming scene where everyone in the arena stood up with purple signs showcasing why they stand in support for the battle with cancer.

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“It’s emotional,” guard McKenna Hofschild said. “I think it gets put in perspective really quick that you think you have…when you talk to people like them and just the thing that their battling and the things that their going through, it’s just really inspiring to see them and see the smiles on their face.”

This was the second of the two meetings between the Rams and Rebels of the season. In the first meeting the Rams ended up falling to the Rebels 88-91 in overtime. In around two the Rams still weren’t able to come out on top, losing 58-63.

“We played a little pressed… we weren’t composed enough,” head coach Ryun Williams said. “We want it to be a collision and we kind of shield away from that in the first half.”

Despite the loss, they were still able to unlock positives from this game. Forward Cali Clark drew the defensive assignment of Rebels forward Desi-Rae Young. Young, Rebels leading scorer, was held to just 11 points. While Clark didn’t score, she continued her dominance defensively in the paint, where she blocked three shots and grabbed 13 total rebounds.

“You have to be ready for a fight,”  Williams said. “She’s (Young) really good at getting to her spot and her position, I thought our kids showed great resistance today and didn’t let her get there a lot.”

Offensively the Rams struggled at times against the Rebels full-court press. Press defense has been something the Rams have seen a lot more of since their game against the University of San Francisco who was able to stunt the Rams exceptional offense. While it’s hard to find offense at times, Cailyn Crocker continued to showcase her talent. Crocker led the Rams in scoring with 19 points.

“I think I’m just extremely grateful to be able to play with other people that suck up so much energy defensively,” Crocker said

The Rams now head on a two game road trip where they will take on the University of New Mexico Lobos on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. before traveling back to take on the United States Air Force Academy Falcons on Jan. 28 at 1 p.m.

Reach Damon Cook at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dwcook2001.