The CSU women’s basketball team (7-12, 2-4 MWC) didn’t quite have enough on Saturday afternoon, losing to the Wyoming Cowgirls (9-9, 1-4 MWC) 64-61 in Moby Arena.
Wyoming’s victory over the Rams in the first Border War of the 2009 season was the Cowgirls’ first win in MWC play this season. Wyoming also extended its winning streak over CSU to nine games.
“I don’t think Wyoming is a 1-4 team. I think they are better than that, and they have been in every game they have played in,” head coach Kristen Holt said.
The Rams attempted a late comeback but fell short as Zoi Simmons’ last second lay-up attempt went off the backboard and into Cowgirl defender Emma Langford’s hands. Langford led the Cowgirls in scoring with 18 points.
“Zoi is one of our best penetrators, and we would not want anybody else taking that shot,” forward Juanise Cornell said.
The Rams found themselves down 14 points with five minutes remaining in the game then pulled to within one point with 18 seconds left on the clock.
Saturday’s game was one of the best second half performances for the Rams this season as CSU compiled 30 rebounds in the final half of play along with 26 points.
“We came out more aggressive in the second half, going for more steals and getting out on the threes,” said freshman Meghan Heimstra, who ended the game with five rebounds.
The first half ended with Cornell taking control putting the Rams back in the game with an 8-0 run all by herself against the Cowgirls’ defense.
However, the Cowgirls jumped on the Rams early, posting 34 points off of seven three-pointers in 15 minutes of play.
“The game plan was not to give up threes. I did not want them shooting (three-pointers), and I did not want them getting them off,” coach Holt said. “If they were going to beat us, I wanted them to beat us with twos or going around us.”
Wyoming concluded the first half of play going 41 percent from beyond the arc.
“I think we shot ourselves in the foot because we were just running into a lot of screens, so they got a lot of wide open shots,” Cornell said.
Cornell and Britney Minor both had career days for the Rams. Cornell posted her best scoring performance with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Minor lead the Rams in scoring with 21 points and five rebounds.
A positive note for CSU was their free throw shooting. Three players, Minor, Cornell and senior captain Kandy Beemer all were perfect from the line. Minor was the most impressive, sinking all nine of her free throw shots.
“I hate missing free throws. Making free throws is something I have to do,” Minor said.
The Rams biggest disappointment was their 1-12 performance from the beyond the arc. Freshman Kim Mestdagh was the only Ram to hit a shot from the outside, and it didn’t come until the 1:53 mark in the second half.
“I think there were a lot of stats that were good. One for 12 from the three-point line is not good,” coach Holt said.
Next up for the Rams will be their toughest contest of the season, as the New Mexico Lobos (14-3, 3-1 MWC) come into Moby Arena Wednesday night ranked No. 23 in the country.
The Lobos have only lost two games in their last 13 appearances on the court and are one of the favorites to win the MWC Championship this season.
Tipoff is set for 7 p. m. Wednesday.
Women’s basketball beat writer Justin Warren can be reached at email@example.com.