Fort Collins, CO — The Colorado State Rams beat the Omaha Mavericks Friday evening, 69-42, in their regular season opener to pick up their 16th straight win at Moby Arena, dating back to last season.
Given the two teams past records, it didn’t come as much of a surprise when the Rams went to town on Omaha in the first quarter. They moved the ball better; they rebounded better, and they shot better. Overall they just played better basketball. But when you had a 16 home-game winning streak on the line, should you expect anything less?
The first quarter took its toll on the Mavericks as they fell behind to Colorado State, 16-8. Omaha looked tired, winded and deflated, with a lot of game left to play. Ellen Nystrom led the Rams in the first quarter with six of her teams 16 points, followed by Elin Gustavsson with five points.
The second quarter was no different, as the Rams went in for the kill. When the Rams shot the ball, they either made it, or got the rebound. That was the difference between these two teams. The only thing Omaha was consistent at was missing shots, which won’t work against any team, let alone Colorado State.
The Rams were able to hold the Mavericks to as little as four points in the second quarter as they added 15 points of their own to the board. Rams’ standouts Nystom and Gustavsson both continued to lead their team following the first-half with 10 and nine points respectively, extending their lead, 31-12.
This Colorado State team was aggressive, talented, and clearly well-coached. However, what stood out most about them was their knowledge of the game. Every pass, shot, and play had a purpose. Opposite of that was their opponent who shot out of, what appeared to be, fear and maybe a little bit of hope that their shots would eventually start to fall.
But the third quarter was a slight breath of fresh air for Omaha (maybe?) as they scored six points in the first five minutes, compared to their four points in the entire second quarter.
However, for every one shot the Mavericks made, the Rams made two. That’s how it felt at least. And although Omaha managed to add 16 more points to the board, it couldn’t compare to Colorado State’s 18 points that kept them ahead going into the fourth quarter, 47-28.
Either the Mavericks got better as the game went on, or the Rams became content with their 20-point lead. Regardless, Omaha moved the ball around better, they started drawing fouls, and their shots began to fall. But did that make a difference? No. The Mavericks were simply outmatched.
Colorado State added another “W” to the books and extended its home game win-streak to 16 after they sent Omaha packing, 69-42. Rams’ Nystrom and Gustavsson led the team in points to propel them past the Mavericks in its regular season opener.
Rams Head Coach Ryun Williams said its always fun to start the year in a bracket type format.
“This was a great way to open up the Preseason WNIT. I've been saying all week that this group - we really like our group. We are way ahead defensively than we are offensively, but what this group needs is...what you saw was settle down, and settle into the game. That's what we challenged them to do. Let's just calm down and play basketball. As the game progressed that's what I liked the most. We settled and had some nice performances, and it was a really good team win."
Senior Elin Gustavsson agreed and said that the team really needed this win.
“It's always a challenge to start a season because it's similar to taking an exam. We played together. We played as a team. We had good energy on the court and on the bench. It was a good start."