Through 23 games this season, the Rams women’s basketball team hasn’t seemed to be able to catch a break. Injuries, chemical bombs, suspensions, and players leaving the team have saddled the Rams with a league record that is just below .200.
In keeping with this year’s status quo, the Rams’ road trip to Utah on Saturday held its share of perpetual bad bounces for the team.
Before the game, CSU’s freshman guard Emily Neal dislocated her shoulder during shoot-around. Neal, who returned to the team less than two weeks ago from her 19-day suspension in January, was unable to play on Saturday.
With just eight players available, the Rams (7-16, 2-9 MWC) were unable to keep pace with the second-place Utah Lady Utes (15-9, 8-3 MWC) and lost the ninth of their last 10 games by a score of 64-49.
After the game, Head Coach Jen Warden talked about how tough it has been to play with such a shorthanded squad.
“I think the difference is when our players reach that point of fatigue you can usually get them out,” Warden told CSU Sports Network’s Brian Roth on 1410 AM KIIX. “We don’t have one more player to do that.”
The Rams were outscored 37-28 in the second half, and trailed by as much as 21 points. CSU also committed 19 turnovers and shot just 34 percent from the field.
CSU was led by junior guard Sara Hunter who finished the game with 15 points and four rebounds. It is Hunter’s fifth straight game in double figures, a career-high streak for her.
Senior center Marilyn Moulton finished with 10 points and eight rebounds, as well as two blocks.
Utah finished the game with four players in double figures. Guard Morgan Warburton finished with 16 points, forward Kalee Whipple had 14, Marie Warner had 12, and guard Heidi Carlsen had 10.
Coach Warden said that despite the loss, the Rams have a number of winnable games left on the schedule and that they need to stay mentally tough in order to pull out of the cellar.
“Right now we have to stay emotionally tough. We have to control the mental game and stay tough as nails,” Warden said. “I think things are going to start to fall our way.”
Next up for the Rams is a trip to the Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico for a Mountain West road game against the New Mexico Lobos on Valentine’s Day. The next home action for the Rams will be on Feb. 17 when the first-place Brigham Young Cougars come to Moby Arena.
Women’s basketball beat writer Nick Hubel can be reached at email@example.com.