CSU Women's Basketball Recap: Rams’ defense shuts down Gonzaga in 65-49 win

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado State women's basketball team held Gonzaga to 19.6 percent shooting over the final three quarters of a Monday night contest from Moby Arena to recover from a slow start and defeat the Bulldogs, 65-49.

Gonzaga, which entered Monday night's action receiving votes in each of the Associated Press and coaches' polls, jumped out to a 20-9 lead through the first quarter behind 7-of-14 (50 percent) shooting in that period. However, Gonzaga (0-1) made only 9-of-46 (19.6 percent) shots for the remainder of the game, as Colorado State (1-1) shot 52.6 percent (20-of-38) over that same stretch and outscored the Bulldogs 56-29 the rest of the way.

Among the largest shooting advantages for CSU was behind the three-point line, as the Rams shot 44 percent (11-of-25) from beyond the arc compared to 8.3 percent (2-of-24) shooting from long range for the Bulldogs. Leading the Rams in three-point shooting was Sofie Tryggedsson, who tied Lore Devos as the Rams' high scorer with 12 points. Stine Austgulen was also a top contributor from beyond the arc, converting on 3-of-6 three-point attempts (4-of-7 overall) and finishing with 11 points.

Tryggedsson made three three-pointers over the final minutes of the second quarter to swing the lead into the Rams' favor. Her first of those threes tied the game at 25 points apiece with 4:02 left in the first half, and her third of those put the Rams up, 33-31, heading to halftime. Another key player in the second quarter was Annie Brady, who tallied five points and seven rebounds in five minutes of playing time in that period. Brady finished with a double-double (11 points and 15 rebounds in 19 minutes), as did Hannah Tvrdy(10 points and 10 rebounds).

CSU held that lead for the final 21:18 minutes of the game, leading by as many as 11 points (46-35) with 1:36 left in the third quarter and as many as 17 points (59-42) with 4:13 to go. The Rams outrebounded the Bulldogs 41-21 over the final three quarters (48-33 overall) and never led by fewer than 12 points over the final 6:06.

IN THEIR WORDS
Colorado State head coach Ryun Williams
"I thought the kids did a great job at executing our plan. The concentration level tonight was off the charts compared to where it was on Friday. In the areas that require some guts, some heart, some toughness, like off the glass and on loose balls…just playing the next play, even if we turned it over. Our kids just kept playing and fought their hearts out. That was a great win against a Gonzaga team who probably isn't going to lose too many games."

On Annie's performance off the bench:
"Annie is such a dynamic athlete. She was probably the best athlete on the floor tonight. You just saw a really tenacious, gutsy performance from her off the glass. I don't know if we've had a rebounding performance like that, as far as in a tough matchup against some girls with some size."

Junior forward Annie Brady
On the impact of a big win early in the season:
"We've been waiting to get on that level, just playing together and digging through. This win is just the start and we're going to build off of that."

On her mindset coming off the bench:
"I came in with the mindset to do my part, no matter if I'm on or off the court. You can always be a good energy for the team, and when the time comes on the court, then it comes. When we needed shots people were hitting shots. Stine (Austgulen) and Sofie (Tryggedsson) hit some and it was just an all-around team effort."

NOTES
- Gonzaga's .267 field goal percentage on Monday night is the lowest by a CSU opponent since the Rams held Air Force to .218 (12-of-55) shooting on Jan. 4, 2017.
- Five Rams scored in double figures on Monday night, marking the first time that has happened since the Rams' win at New Mexico on Jan. 14, 2017.
- The last time a Ram corralled 15 rebounds was on Jan. 24, 2017, when Ellen Nystrom had as many at San Jose State. Annie Brady recorded 15 rebounds on Monday night.
- Hannah Tvrdy's 10 rebounds are a new single-game career high. Her previous best was nine rebounds at Nebraska on Nov. 17, 2016.
- Tvrdy is the first CSU player to play the entirety of regulation this season, as she was on the court for all 40 minutes on Monday.

UP NEXT
The Colorado State women's basketball team continues this week's slate of games on Thursday with a contest against the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds. Opening tip from Moby Arena is set for 7 p.m. MT.



 
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