Losing is never fun, especially when it comes in bunches. Luckily for the CSU womenâ€™s basketball team, their four-game losing streak came to an end Tuesday night as they defeated Air Force 80-46 at Moby Arena.
The Ramsâ€™ win was their fourth consecutive over Air Force and lifted them to a 12-11 overall record with a 4-6 mark in conference, while dropping the Falcons to 3-20, still winless against their league foes.
The Rams led by as many as 36 points in the second half during a game in which they never trailed. Every CSU player that entered the game scored after junior guard Sarah Hemmings hit a three from the right corner with 1:38 left in the game.
â€œI didnâ€™t notice that I didnâ€™t shoot until the end,â€ Hemmings said. â€œIt was fun. I donâ€™t know how important it was.â€
As a team, CSU recorded eight blocks and 17 steals on the night.
â€œDefense starts with intensity and effort and focus and I felt that we had that tonight,â€ Ramsâ€™ head coach Kristen Holt said.
Sophomore Chatilla van Grinsven led the team with a game-high 17 points and grabbed six rebounds and blocked five shots. In total, five Rams scored in the double figures on the night.
CSU was up 38-17 going into halftime, but shades of their previous meeting when the Falcons trimmed an 18 point lead to four in the waning moments weighed heavily on the teamâ€™s mind.
â€œAir Force doesnâ€™t back down. They hustle, they play with their hearts,â€ said junior guard Bonnie Barbee. â€œWe know if you have a lead and you take that lead lightly, theyâ€™ll come back and creep in.â€
Though they were out-rebounded 33-28, the Rams made up for it by grabbing two more offensive rebounds than the Falcons and putting forth a bigger effort. In particular, CSUâ€™s front line, which has struggled of late, bounced back from several lackluster performances.
Natalie van Den Adel scored 12 points and dished out five assists to go along with three steals, while Meghan Heimstra brought down a team-high seven rebounds and collected three steals.
â€œI thought their intent to go to the boards was much better than it has been,â€ Holt said. â€œI thought they were flying all over the place, and thatâ€™s what we need from them.â€
Barbee hit a three pointer to open both the first and second halves, finishing the game with 15 points and four assists.
â€œIt was a tone-setter that weâ€™re not gonna back down and weâ€™re not gonna give any less effort,â€ she said. â€œWeâ€™re just gonna keep attacking to make sure that we win this game.â€
Womenâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.