Despite four players setting personal bests and one tying or setting three school records, the CSU women’s basketball team fell in triple-overtime Tuesday night in its home opener at Moby Arena to the University of San Francisco, 101-96.
Senior Sara Hunter had a career-best 41 points- fourth-most ever for a Ram in a single game– which included tying the CSU record for 3-pointers in a game with eight, set by Becky Hammon in 1997. Hunter also set a record for 3-pointers attempted with 20, passing Hammon’s mark of 17, and she also set the Rams’ mark for field goals attempted with 35.
Hunter, who played all 55 minutes, moved in to third place all-time at CSU for single game scoring.
Also setting personal highs and contributing to the Rams’ thriller at Moby were Kandy Beemer, Elle Queen and Carine Reimink. Queen and Reimink both recorded double-doubles while Beemer had 14 points, 12 of them coming from 3-point range to go with her five rebounds.
“We can take a lot of things from this game. A lot of players stepped up and broke out of their shells,” Queen said. “We seemed to be relying on Sara and Kandy too much in the overtimes to hit the 3-which is great because they were hitting them-but the rest of the team didn’t seem to have as much pull when we needed to.”
The Rams led the majority of the game, including all three overtimes, but allowed USF to keep within arms reach, which is what ruined CSU in the end. Leading the way for the Dons was Necolia Simmons and Heidi Heintz, who both scored over 20 points. Simmons’ style, which could easily be compared to the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett, could not be stopped in the latter portions of the game; anytime USF needed a score in the paint, Simmons was there for a powerful lay-up or turnaround-jumper.
“I thought we were going to win that game the entire time, from every last shot we took and I know everyone on our team felt that too,” Hunter said. “The little things, the mistakes, cost us.”
San Francisco had two opportunities to end the game at the free throw line with less than 10 seconds on the clock, and both times the same player missed the potential game-winners.
Shay Rollins, the younger sister of Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, had three free throws to put the game away between the first and second overtimes, but she couldn’t commit and every time she missed, Hunter was ready to make a clutch 3-pointer to keep the contest alive, but not even the senior captain could pull the weight needed for a Rams victory.
“Sara is Sara. Who at Moby Arena has not seen her do something like that? Not once did she step out of her character,” said head coach Jen Warden. “Defensively we should have won this game.We have to get defensive stops.”
The third overtime is when it all fell apart for the Rams. Hunter and Beemer were able to do their job on the offensive end of the-and did quite well defensively, also-but it wasn’t enough to stop Simmons and Heintz from penetrating to the basket, ultimately costing CSU a shot at their first win of the year.