Down by five with close to two minutes left, the University of Wyoming women’s basketball team had come back from being down 15 points in the second.
Then Rams’ junior guard Katie Borton took over. With the score 50-47, Borton got the ball in the corner and drained her second three-pointer of the second half. After Wyoming scored to make it 53-49, Borton got fouled and calmly made both free throws to put CSU up by six. Borton finished with 10 points and led the Rams to a 57-49 victory.
“When a shot’s open, I am going to take it,” Borton said.
Borton also thwarted Wyoming’s last chance by blocking Wyoming guard Cherrith Wiersma’s running jumper.
Two free throws by junior guard Jackie Campbell sealed the win for CSU, and helped the Rams improve to 16-3 overall and 5-0 in Mountain West Conference play.
“I’m just happy to get out of here with a win,” said CSU head coach Tom Collen.
This was one of the more difficult victories for CSU in the border series the Rams have dominated in recent years.
“Every time we play them it becomes more of a rivalry,” senior guard Angie Gorton said.
Wyoming forward Carrie Bacon exploited the weak inside defense of CSU for 17 points. Junior forward Shannon Strecker returned to play only four minutes for CSU, and forward Lisa Narkiewicz was battling flu symptoms and a sprained ankle, according to Collen.
Narkiewicz still managed to score 13 points to lead three CSU players in double figures. The team would need every point as leading scorer junior forward Ashley Augspurger went 0-12 from the field, scoring only four points.
“It’s been just the nature of the team,” Collen said. “We’ve had someone new step up every game.”
Wyoming fell to 9-9 overall and 2-3 in MWC after coming into the game with a two-game winning streak in the conference. Wyoming coach Cindy Fisher said she was disappointed her team didn’t come away with a victory, but they understood the Rams’ level of competition.
“It is tough to win on the road; it is tough to beat the No.1 team in the conference,” Fisher said.
CSU will take that perfect league record and top spot in the conference on the road to play New Mexico, the second place team in the Mountain West.
“I like going down to The Pit (New Mexico) in this situation,” Collen said. “We really wanted to go down there 5-0.”
CSU didn’t shoot as well as Wyoming, but a combination of little things helped to give the Rams the advantage. CSU maintained a rebounding edge the entire game, and also blocked seven shots as a team. CSU went to the line 10 more times than Wyoming, and forced Wyoming into an 0-12 night from behind the arc.
All 10 CSU players scored in the game, showing the balance the team relies on to stay successful game after game.
“Everyone contributes a little bit here and there and we get the job done,” Gorton said. n