CSU Women's Basketball Recap: Rams down Cornell, 56-53, behind efficient second-half offense

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado State women's basketball team converted on half of its second-half field goal attempts en route to a 56-53 victory over the Cornell Big Red in a Sunday afternoon matchup from Moby Arena.

Colorado State (2-2) trailed for 31:55 on Sunday, but shot exactly 50 percent in each of the third and fourth quarters before chipping Cornell's (2-3) lead away with 5:05 to play. Sophomore guard Lore Devos led the Rams in scoring with 14 points and added six rebounds, while senior forward Tatum Neubert shot 5-for-8 en route to a 12-point effort. Sophomore center Liah Davis tallied eight points on 4-for-7 shooting and corralled five rebounds with three blocks in 10 minutes off the bench. CSU finished the game with a season-low eight turnovers.

Colorado State closed the first quarter on just 1-for-11 shooting, finishing with just seven points to put itself in a 14-7 hole after the opening period. The Rams doubled their offensive output in the second period, taking halftime edges in assists (5-3 in the first half), steals (2-0) and three-point field goals made (3-2) to make up for a shooting disadvantage (31 percent to 29 percent) and cut the deficit to 22-21.

The Rams then improved their shooting to 50 percent in the second half, scoring 16 points in the third quarter and 19 in the fourth. Behind the improved offensive output, CSU took the lead back from the Big Red at the 5:05 mark, and after a Cornell layup, took the lead again for good with 4:27 to go. The Rams scored the next six points from there, exactly enough to fend off an ensuing six-point run from Cornell. Devos converted on both free throw attempts in the final minute to give CSU a 56-53 lead, and the Rams forced a missed three-pointer on Cornell's final possession to seal the win.

IN THEIR WORDS
Colorado State head coach Ryun Williams
"It was fun to watch our kids battle and scrap all night. It was going to be a close basketball game. I think you have two teams that kind of struggle scoring the ball (so far this season). We knew that going in, so it was a possession game and I was really happy how we made some plays late, both offensively and defensively. This group just needed to feel a victory. This is a whole new team, and for them to learn how to win and learn to win in a close game, I'm proud of them."

On the team's play defensively:
"Our defense has played great all year … I like how our defense competed, and we rebounded a little better tonight. There's going to be some long rebounds and there was that one late that we surely wanted. Defensively, our kids are buying into what we want to do to beat an opponent, and the offense will get better."