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Stalwart defense propels Rams to victory over UNH

Collegian | Ava Puglisi
McKenna Hofschild carries the ball into CSU’s side of the court during the CSU vs UNH basketball game on Nov. 15. (CSU won 67-45)

What happens when the shots just don’t fall your way?

In their 67-45 win against New Hampshire, McKenna Hofschild and the Colorado State women’s basketball team found their answer: fight in every other way possible until the shots begin to fall. 


Hofschild got out to a difficult start Wednesday night, shooting 3-of-12 from the field and 0-of-3 from the 3-point line. Hofschild had 14 points on the night, far under her 25 point average to begin the season. 

Hofschild did not surrender easily, but instead, she elevated every other part of her game to ensure her team could fight their way to victory. Racking up a season-high 13 assists, Hofschild found multiple team members, including Cali Clark on multiple breakaway layups, and Sydney Mech on the wing where she sunk four 3-point shots. Hofschild ended the night +24, despite her difficulties getting shots to fall.

“That’s a big thing, especially as a five, being able to run is a big advantage that we like to take,” Clark said. “If I’m open, she’s going to give it to me.”

It wasn’t just Hofschild fighting on both sides of the ball, the whole team found ways to fight through the scoring droughts to persevere for the win. 

“(Tonight was) really kind of a gritty win,” coach Ryun Williams said. “I thought New Hampshire had a really good game plan against us. I thought they played with tremendous toughness and physicality. I thought early on they were the more aggressive team and we had to settle into that.”

When the shots weren’t falling for CSU, they found their defense as a rock to anchor themselves upon. The Rams held UNH to just 18-of-71 from the field and 7-of-26 from 3-point range, they also racked up 38 defensive rebounds and forced eight turnovers. 

A key to the Rams defense against the Wildcats was the presence of Clark. She grabbed nine rebounds, just one short of her first career double-double. The 6-foot-3 forward’s commanding presence in the paint allowed UNH to score just eight points in the paint. 

“I promise you, she will have multiple double-doubles this year,” Williams said. “She played a little over 20 minutes tonight and was obviously outstanding on the glass. I mean, she has a great instinct for basketball and her motor was just spot on tonight.” 

After searching for a rhythm the first two games of the season, Hannah Ronsiek found her footing Wednesday night. In 27-minutes played, Ronsiek tallied up seven points, four rebounds, and two assists, resulting in a plus/minus of +13. 


On a night where the Rams needed all the fight they could get on all both sides of the ball, Ronsiek gave the team everything they needed to pull off the win.

“This year I’m really trying to lock in on executing both offensively and defensively,” Ronsiek said. “I think being able to be a better defender is really going to help me stay on the court.”

When shots weren’t falling for Williams’ starters, he looked to his bench and found Mech, who shot 4-of-6 from the 3-point line. Mech ended with 12 points, blowing her season-high of three out of the water.

“(The) MVP obviously (was) Sydney Mech coming off the bench tonight,” Williams said. “Really proud of that effort, especially in the second half.”

The Rams will continue their homestand against South Dakota Mines at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 21 in Moby Arena.

Will Engle can be reached at or on Twitter @willengle44.

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