It is said that given enough time and distance, many problems will tend to work themselves out on their own. Less than a week after losing four players to suspension, not even a trip to the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah, could drive away the troubles facing the Ram women’s basketball team.
Traveling just eight players and starting two who don’t usually start, CSU (6-11, 1-4) was unable to put enough together to top the red-hot Brigham Young Cougars (13-4, 4-0), falling in the Mountain West Conference game, 69-56.
Despite a late 14-3 run, the Rams were unable to overcome the 24-point lead the Cougars had built with just 7 minutes left in the game.
It is the seventh game in a row that BYU has beat CSU, dating back two years. With the win BYU maintains its second place standing in the conference behind Utah. CSU has lost four in a row and falls to eighth place.
The Rams were led by senior center Marilyn Moulton, who finished the game with 11 rebounds and 9 points, narrowly missing a double-double. Her performance on the glass allowed her to eclipse the 400 career rebound mark, as she finished the game with 405 career rebounds.
Head coach Jen Warden said that Moulton was able to compete with the physical play of BYU’s posts and kept CSU in much of the game.
“I thought she did a great job of staying physical,” Warden told the Colorado State Sports Network. “We need that from her going into San Diego State.”
For the Rams, senior guard Molly Nohr had 16 points and junior guard Sara Hunter added 4 three-pointers of her own. As a team CSU hit just 37 percent of their shots, compared to 44 percent for BYU. However, the Rams had just 11 turnovers in the game, seven fewer than their season average.
“We had some rookie mistakes,” Warden said, “but when I think about the direction that the program is heading, even with last year’s full roster, we did not compete as well as we did tonight.”
The Cougars came out in the second half determined to get the ball down to their post players, outscoring the Rams 14-0 on points in the paint within the first eight minutes. Their dominance on the block led BYU to a 16-6 run and a 20-point lead from which the Rams could never recover.
CSU kept pace with the second place Cougars for much of the first half, trading the lead nine times in the first 15 minutes before BYU went on a 14-3 run late in the period to pull away. CSU was able to regain its composure late and battled back to a 10-point deficit at the end of the half, finishing the first 20 minutes down, 37-27.
“No doubt we need to do a lot of things better,” Warden said. “But this is a starting point and we are going to be competing with BYU in no time.”
The Rams will look to get back on track this Saturday as they continue their road trip, traveling to California to face the San Diego State Aztecs (8-7). Tip off in that game is set for 3 p.m.
Women’s basketball beat reporter Nick Hubel can be reached at email@example.com.