Colorado State Closes Championship Season with WNIT Loss to UNC
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - In the first round of the WNIT, the Colorado State women's basketball team fell short against in-state rival Northern Colorado, 53-48 Thursday night at Moby Arena. The loss also ended the Rams 15-game winning streak at home, which was the third-longest stretch in program history.
"Well that wasn't fun," Head Coach Ryun Williams said after the game. "Tonight we just didn't play our best basketball game."
With the win, the Bears (21-12) will advance to the second round of the WNIT, facing off against South Dakota who defeated Creighton, 68-58, earlier in the evening. The loss ends the Colorado State season with a record of 23-8. This was the Rams' second consecutive year and 11th 20-win season in program history.
To start the contest off, the Rams went on a 6-0 scoring run while holding Northern Colorado scoreless from the field in the first 6:39 of action. Colorado State quickly went cold though, suffering a drought from the field which lasted for 10:29 of the first half, while the Rams converted just 1-of-6 from the free-throw line during that stretch. Both teams would exchange baskets, but the Rams would end the half 28-26 lead.
The start of the second half nearly mirrored the start of the first half. Colorado State opened the period on a 10-0 scoring run while keeping the Bears from converting a field goal for the first 6:22. This allowed the Rams to jump ahead to a 38-26 lead, which was the largest lead of the game for either team. However, the Bears would battle in the final 13:42 of the game on a 26-10 run, finishing the Rams season and winning the matchup.
Senior guard AJ Newton led the Rams in scoring with 11 points. This was Newton's 10th game of the season in which she reached double-digit scoring. Junior forward Alana Arias came off the bench and tallied 10 points for the Rams.
"I'm proud of the effort the kids gave all year," Williams stated. "Tonight it was just tough."
Although losing senior guards AJ Newton and Gritt Ryder will be hard to overcome, Colorado State looks to bring back a plethora of talent. After winning two regular season conference championships in two seasons, Head Coach Ryun Williams will look to lead his 2015-16 squad to a third straight conference title.