A final home game for three seniors left the CSU women's basketball team full of mixed emotions. Records breaking, crowds cheering and a missed shot attempt with two seconds to go left the Rams with a 67-69 loss to the MWC-leading BYU Cougars in Moby Arena Wednesday night.
"With one minute and thirty seconds to go, we're down by five with Molly (Nohr) fouled out of the game. BYU was playing their hardest so they were going to do whatever it took to win," said head coach Jen Warden. "They tripled-teamed Sara Hunter so she couldn't take the last shot, but they were ready to triple team anyone who had the ball."
From the beginning the Rams went out full throttle, giving all of their effort to the competition they had before them. A 58 percent shooting performance in the first half compared to a 41.9 percent average from the BYU Cougars gave the Rams an early lead which they held for the majority of the game. CSU led by as much as 13 points before a three-point shot by BYU guard Shawnee Slade brought the score to a 43-33 going into halftime.
"When it comes down to it, you've just got to fight. We're playing our best basketball right now. We're not where we want to be in the standings, but we're there mentally," said senior forward Lindsay Thomas.
"I can't say enough about Vanessa. She has really shown courage to this team and played to her full potential starting with the Friday before our Wyoming game," Warden said.
Forward Melissa Dennett was held to only two points for the entire game but snagged eight rebounds. CSU was held scoreless for nine minutes in the second half, allowing the Cougars to take the lead for the first time with five minutes left in the game.
"Tonight was clearly a mental game. They happened to fall for us in the first half, but we came up short in the second. BYU was able to elevate their game," Warden said.
"Kubik was the difference in this game without question," said Warden. "Our biggest opponent tonight was fatigue. We can see one thing from this game as well as the Wyoming game; we're a team."
Next up for the Rams are the Air Force Falcons who are ranked one place above the Rams in the Mountain West Conference. The last time the two teams met was on Feb. 2 where the Rams fell 76-60. They will play at 2 p.m. on Saturday in Colorado Springs.
Dennett 36 1-7 8 2 2 Nohr 33 4-10 3 2 9 Thomas 24 3-9 2 3 6 Hunter 39 10-15 5 3 27 Espinoza 40 5-16 2 8 16 Kramer 1 0-0 0 0 0 Moulton 27 3-5 9 3 7
Anderson 35 8-23 12 2 22 Johnsen 35 1-6 5 3 3 Kubik 29 6-13 8 1 18 Keele 12 0-1 1 0 0 Gillespie 32 1-6 3 5 9 Seljaas 4 1-1 0 0 3 Stratton 23 0-1 2 3 0 Hutson 5 0-0 0 1 0 Slade 14 2-2 2 0 5 Riley 11 4-7 6 0 9