Playing against a good Toledo team on the road, the Rams fell 58-51 after a late 9-3 run by Toledo sealed the Rams fifth straight loss.
Turnovers once again plagued the Rams, who committed 27 as a team in the game.
â€œWe had a lot of turnovers,â€ CSU coach Kristen Holt said. â€œI know thatâ€™s the big stat that stands out, and itâ€™s probably the reason we lost the game.â€
Despite the result, there were many positive signs in the game for CSU.
â€œI thought we came out really strong and we played good,â€ senior Kim Mestdagh said. â€œWeâ€™re playing really good teams, and weâ€™re just not able to execute in the end of the game.â€
CSU was led by the play of sophomore Sam Martin, who scored a game-high 21 points, her third time scoring 20 or more in the last four games.
â€œThey (the guards) kept passing it in to me, and itâ€™s really all them. I mean, they made my shots easier,â€ Martin said. â€œIt was a good team effort today.â€
The game marks the end of a tough stretch of games for the Rams, who have faced two teams that made the 2011 NCAA Tournament, as well as last yearâ€™s WNIT champion Toledo, in the early part of the season.
The scheduling is meant to prepare CSU to play in difficult environments in postseason play, according to Holt.
â€œItâ€™s a tournament environment (in Toledo), which is why you put a schedule together like that,â€ she said. â€œWe have to prepare our team for when we get to the postseason.â€
The Rams have been able to play well in their last few losses, losing three of their last four games by seven points or less, often coming because of late runs by their opponents.
By focusing on cutting down their turnovers and drawing from the experience in their close losses this season, the Rams are confident that they can play at a high level and compete for the Mountain West title.
â€œI think a lot of these games, like, we know we can play with them, and we stuck with them the whole game,â€ Martin said. â€œI think weâ€™re just gonna keep getting stronger and stronger every day.â€
Womenâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Result: CSU 51 Toledo 58
Up Next: North Dakota
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8
Where: Fort Collins, Colo.