The CSU women’s basketball team needed to turn its shooting woes around against the University of Denver last night in order to earn its second win of the season, but unfortunately for the Rams that was not the case, as they fell 68-52.
CSU (1-6) shot a measly 30.2 percent from the field against a DU Pioneer squad who was over eager to boost its record back to .500 and did so with the three-ball.
“This was a very close and competitive game, if we hit our layups, we win this one,” said head coach Jen Warden, who is 0-3 in her career against Denver.
Denver took advantage of the gaps in the Rams’ zone defense in the first half with seven three-pointers, five of which came from junior guard Andie Mason, who scored a career high 15 points in the first half alone, as she was 5-6 from behind the arc.
The final score showed a 16-point margin, but anyone who watched the game was aware that it was much closer than what the box score said.
The inability to convert layups and other high percentage shots was a thorn in the Rams’ side all night.
Junior forward Carine Reimink, who is a focal point for the Rams offense in the paint, was 1-5 with and gave the ball away three times.
After going to the locker room down by only seven at the break, CSU’s defensive intensity did a complete 180 in the second half, as they forced three early turnovers and held the Pioneers to 0-4 from the field to start.
This surge, led by junior Brittney Minor, who finished with 13 points, three steals and seven boards – virtually all of which came in the second half – helped the Rams claim their first lead of the ball game, but it wasn’t enough.
CSU had two opportunities to extend its lead from one point but couldn’t convert, which swung the momentum back in favor of Denver and they never looked back.
“My play in the second half was mainly because of our will to win,” Minor said. “We knew that we could win. I score off of my defensive play, I don’t usually do a lot on offense, but I knew I needed to do what I could to help this team.”
The game did bear a silver lining, however — senior guard Sara Hunter moved into sole possession of 15th place among the all-time scoring ranks at CSU, as she scored her 963rd career point with a second half three-pointer. The Rams return to home to host CU 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Moby Arena.
Sports Writer Matt Stephens can be reached at email@example.com.