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CSU women’s basketball treats sold-out crowd to win over SJSU

An+aeriel+view+of+the+sold-out+Colorado+State+University+womens+basketball+game+against+San+Jose+State+University+Jan+27%2C+2024.+CSU+won+65-49.
Collegian | Ava Puglisi
An aeriel view of the sold-out Colorado State University women’s basketball game against San Jose State University Jan 27, 2024. CSU won 65-49.

1999 marked the beginning of an era for women’s sports around the world, most importantly with the historical FIFA Women’s World Cup in the Rose Bowl Stadium.

It also marked an important milestone in Colorado State women’s basketball history; it was the last time Moby Arena packed a sold-out crowd for a women’s basketball game — until Saturday.

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“We found out it was a sell out yesterday at practice,” CSU guard McKenna Hofschild said. “That was obviously super exciting going into the game. I think we were all pretty amped up.”

Filled to the brim at a maximum capacity of 8,083 fans, Moby Arena certainly got loud. The home court advantage is something all players love, especially at Moby, where it can turn into an incredible advantage.

“What an incredible crowd,” coach Ryun Williams said. “Fort Collins really showed up for our basketball team. When President Amy Parsons says we’re gonna get a sell out, she gets it done.”

This game didn’t just mark a significant home court advantage; it was also the Fight Like a Ram game for CSU, where each player has a cancer warrior’s name on the back of their jersey.

Despite getting the first points on the board, the Rams struggled early in the first quarter with offensive turnovers after poor passes. The San Jose State squad was able time their steals extremely well and recovered quickly from missed shots.

Going into the latter half of the first quarter, the Rams were able to tighten the score up, but they couldn’t regain the lead. The first quarter was foul heavy with five fouls against the Spartans and only two against the Rams.

The second quarter stayed on the same trend as the first with explosive moments and big fouls.

The Rams were able to make changes to the style of play, focusing on a stronger defense and finding the weaknesses in the SJSU line of defense to allow them to get the lead for the first time in the second period.

Colorado State was able to make some very necessary changes in the second quarter to allow them to continue that lead throughout the entire period, ending the second half with a score of 34 to the Spartans’ 26.

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Normally, halftime is marked with a more fun and lighthearted section, but this halftime was something special. With Andra Day’s “Rise Up” playing on the loudspeakers of Moby Arena, fans held “I fight for …” signs in support of the UCHealth Cancer Warriors.

“I think it creates a tremendous amount of pride in our players,” Williams said. “This is what we represent.”

In the third quarter, tensions were high with San Jose State getting the first points but quickly being canceled out with a shifty line drive from Hofschild.

After missing two free throws in a row, tensions in Moby Arena reached a boiling point as the Rams continued to lead over the Spartans. It became clear that the Spartans weren’t going to go down without a fight with San Jose dishing out four fouls.

Going into the fourth quarter, CSU only needed to hold onto their 15-point lead, but that wasn’t in the cards for the Rams.

The final quarter proved to be intense on both sides of the ball, with San Jose closing the lead to only 10 points. But after a reinvigorating 3-pointer from Hannah Ronsiek, the crowd was back on their feet.

With a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Williams substituted the entire roster to give players who hadn’t gotten minutes some time. This fresh team was able to get some more points on the board and extend the lead to the largest it had been all game.

This game isn’t just important for the sold-out crowd that saw the Rams win over San Jose 65-49 but also for all the cancer warriors represented in the game.

“I think we’re something special,” guard Sydney Mech said. “Women’s sports is something people should back up, and we’re out here working just as hard.”

Reach Emma Askren at easkren@collegian.com or on Twitter @emma_askren.

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About the Contributor
Emma Askren
Emma Askren, Sports Editor
Emma Askren, alongside Damon Cook, is the fall 2023 sports editor for The Collegian. She began working at The Collegian during her first year in the fall of 2022, when she covered the swim and dive team as well as anything sports-related. She is currently a sophomore at Colorado State University, where she is majoring in journalism and media communication and double minoring in Spanish and sports management. During her first year, she joined the rowing team, began working as a reporter for The Collegian and working at the Student Recreation Center. Askren applied to CSU as a journalism major, knowing she wanted to combine her passion for sports and writing to create a fulfilling career. Upon realizing that Rocky Mountain Student Media was hiring for first-years, she jumped at the opportunity to become a writer for The Collegian. While working for the sports desk, Askren has had the opportunity to write about hockey, logging, whitewater rafting and the importance of women in sports. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, she seeks to break the status quo and become a successful sports journalist following graduation. Following a year as a sports reporter, Askren became a co-editor for the sports desk alongside Cook. Together the duo seeks to create a new and improved sports desk that caters to all readers of The Collegian and beyond.

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