Tournament notes: Rams open MW tournament as No. 6 seed
March 12, 2013
2013 Reese's Mountain West Basketball Championships
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||WYOMING COWGIRLS|
After closing out the regular season with an overall record of 11-18, and posting a 7-9 record in Mountain West action, the Colorado State women's basketball team enters the 2013 Reese's Mountain West Basketball Tournament as the No. 6 seed.
The Rams finished in sixth place in the standings, and captured seven conference victories under Head Coach Ryun Williams, who is making his first appearance in the conference tournament. This is the third consecutive season CSU has had at least seven wins in the MW.
This is the second time since the inaugural season in the Mountain West that Colorado State has entered the tournament as the sixth seed, doing so previously in 2005.
Following the Rams
All of the Rams' games at the 2013 MW tournament will be broadcast live on AM 1410 KIIX in the Fort Collins area or online for free via Rams All-Access on CSURams.com. Matt Wozniak, in his fourth season, calls all the action.
The women's quarterfinal and semifinal games on March 14-15 will also be streamed live on the Mountain West Network through TheMWC.com. Rich Cellini and Krista Blunk will call the action from courtside for the Mountain West Network.
Live statistics are available free of charge on TheMWC.com by clicking on the MW Tournament Central page. Fans can also follow the action from their mobile device with the Official Mountain West app provided CBS Interactive Inc.
Fans can catch a live telecast of the women's championship game, scheduled for Saturday at 8 p.m. MT, broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network (Comcast 412/846; DirecTV 613; DISH 158).
CSU's MW tournament history
Colorado State is 10-12 all-time in the Mountain West tournament, including a 9-9 record in tournament games played in Las Vegas, Nev.
In 2001, the Rams rolled to a 3-0 mark to capture the tournament championship. Last season three players scored double figures and Hayley Thompson posted a double-double, but it wasn't enough to defeat sixth-seeded Boise State in the quarterfinal round.
Below is a listing of the Rams' record vs. each league foe at the MW tournament:
|San Diego State||1||1-0|
A challenging start
The Rams finished out the 2012-13 regular season with a 11-18 record overall, with a conference mark of 7-9, good for sixth place in the Mountain West under first year Head Coach Ryun Williams. With 10 opponents ranked in the RPI's top 100, CSU's strength of schedule was ranked 101st in the country. Four teams the Rams faced this season are currently ranked or receiving votes in the national polls.
2012-13 big wins
On Nov. 13 Head Coach Ryun Williams earned his first-career victory with Colorado State, holding off Northern Colorado, 56-43. CSU played a tough defensive game, causing the Bears to tally six turnovers during the first half and 10 in a physical second half of the game. Three players hit double figures, led by Amber Makeever's 15 points.
Then on Jan. 16 CSU earned its first road win of the season in dominating fashion. The Rams cruised past Air Force, 64-44, fueled by freshman Caitlin Duffy's 18 points. Colorado State earned its lead early with a 15-3 run. Air Force, which had compiled 49 offensive rebounds its last two games, grabbed three in the early goings; but before the Falcons had a chance to convert, CSU stole the ball away. The Rams registered five steals in the first 5 minutes, and finished 12 on the evening.
On Jan. 30 the Rams defeated Boise State in Idaho, 57-56, avenging a bitter loss CSU suffered in the first round of last season's MW tournament. CSU held the lead until midway through the second frame, when the Broncos took over. Boise State gained a five-point lead three times, but the Rams tied the matchup with just over 1 minute to play. A Caitlin Duffy layup gave the Rams a two-point lead, but it was quickly taken away with a Broncos three-pointer. With the shot clock turned off, CSU had the ball with 26 seconds remaining. A missed shot by Alicia Nichols was corralled by Hayley Thompson, who got the put-back for the win.
A trio of sweeps for the Rams
Six of Colorado State's Mountain West victories in 2013 came at the expense of three programs, as the Rams earned regular-season sweeps over Air Force and Boise State for the second consecutive season, and MW-newcomer Nevada. Head Coach Ryun Williams is undefeated in his career vs. all three teams. Until this season, Williams had never played against any team in the MW, aside from CSU. This is the first time CSU has swept three teams in the regular season since 2002, when the Rams swept five conference foes.
A strong defensive campaign
Although CSU struggled to find its shot at times this season; the team relied on defense in all of its victories. In all 11 of Rams' wins this season, their opponents have scored 60 points or less. Even in its losses, Colorado State held foes to 60 or less six times, including season lows in scoring from the conference's top two contenders: San Diego State (48 points) and Fresno State (49 points).
CSU's 59.45 points allowed per game ranks third all-time in the CSU record book. In addition, the Rams' .363 field-goal percentage defense is also third all-time. In both instances, the two years better than this season's defensive effort were back when the program first began in 1974-75 and 1975-76.
Martin was honored with a second-team selection, Heimstra earned a spot on the all-defensive team and both Heimstra and Duffy earned all-conference honorable mention.
Should Colorado State win its quarterfinal matchup vs. Wyoming, the Rams will move on to play the winner of the No. 2 Fresno State vs. No. 7 Boise State game. CSU lost both regular season contests to the Bulldogs, and defeated the Broncos in both games. Tipoff for the semifinal round is slated for Friday and 3:30 p.m. MT.