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CSU finds luck in 27, gets Education Day win

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Collegian | Samantha Nordstrom
Colorado State University graduate student Sydney Mech, graduate student McKenna Hofschild and junior Sanna Ström play defense during the CSU women’s basketball game against the University of Nevada, Reno at Moby Arena Feb. 28.

Core memories last forever.

For the young students in the Thompson School District, Education Day will be a day that will be fond in their minds for years to come.

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Besides the sold-out crowd the women brought in on the Fight Like a Ram day in January, this is one of the more exciting atmospheres of the year for the Colorado State women’s basketball team.

“People start screaming more so when we score (at the sold out game), whereas here, they’re just screaming all the time,” Cailyn Crocker said. “We love them, but here they just scream in general.”

Colorado State won against Nevada in a nail-biting game with a final score of 54-51.

Going into the game, the Rams knew they not only needed to pull out a win for all the students in attendance but to keep up their two-game winning streak.

While the energy at Moby was nothing short of madness, it was clear there was some pressure on the Rams. During the first quarter, the Rams were only shooting 28.57% past the 3-point line, which was where the Wolf Pack was able to shine, shooting 42.86%.

However, it was the fourth and final quarter when things started to get dicey, going down to the last 20 seconds of the final quarter as the Rams led by only three points.

“A gutty victory,” coach Ryun Williams said. “Nevada — they’re a tough team. They’ve provided us with some fits, to be honest with you.”

A buzzer-beater 3-pointer for Nevada would mean overtime, a solid defensive run for the Rams would mean victory. Ultimately, it was field day on the court in the final seven seconds as CSU held on to the ball to run the shot clock down for the win.

The first quarter is what got the Rams in this situation in the first place.

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The Wolf Pack’s ability to shoot at such a high point during the first quarter was helped by Nevada’s Victoria Davis. Davis was on fire, creating big opportunities and playing a huge role in Nevada’s consistent lead over the Rams.

With no one really creating solid opportunities for the Rams, the half-time break was a chance for CSU to regroup.

The Wolf Pack had the longest scoring run of the game at 11 points. The Rams needed to improve their rebounding capabilities and their overall defense. It was a matter of overall improvement for the Rams, as Nevada was simply outplaying them.

With a missed 3-pointer from Hannah Ronsiek to start the scoring off for the Rams, CSU was able to tie the game with an immediate rebound and score from Sanna Ström. Fans were on their feet even during a Wolf Pack timeout.

One person who would be able to truly carry the Rams to success was unable to be found on the scoreboard in McKenna Hofschild. After scoring 24 points in the last faceoff against Nevada, she only had five points on the scoreboard for the first three quarters.

Despite this, in the third quarter, the Rams gained a lead for the first time since the eighth minute of the first quarter. But as time ticked down and tensions rose, Nevada was able to regain the lead in the final four seconds of the quarter.

Then Hofschild, Ström, Ronsiek and Crocker stepped up to take the Rams to victory.

“Other kids gotta step up and make some shots, and (Ström) was really big late (in the fourth) too,” Williams said.

All of the stress, anxiety and missed chances of the second half were long forgotten in the minds of the Thompson School District students as the Rams ended the day on a 54-51 win.

“Hey, one other thing,” Williams said. “It was our 27th game, right? I had a granddaughter named Hadley who was born on the 27th, and we got a W. That’s our lucky number: 27.”

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

Interested in more sports content? Sign up for Ram Report here for weekly CSU sports updates!

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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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