FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Concluding its three-game road trip in a span of six days, Colorado State will play at Fresno State Monday at 7 p.m. MT inside the Save Mart Center.
The game is a rescheduled contest that was originally set for Jan. 24th but was postponed due to COVID complications in the FS program. CSU has split its three-game road trip thus far, winning at Utah State before falling late to Boise State in a five-point contest.
“The last week has been a trying one for our team, being on the road mostly and even starting the school semester,” head coach Ryun Williams said. “Yesterday, we were in a position to steal a road win in the conference and go 2-0 on the road trip but couldn’t close the deal. It didn’t all come down to the last few minutes though as we had mistakes throughout that built up to the narrative. Today, we reset our sights on a talented and equally frustrated Fresno State team that is better than its record. The game will mirror the fast-paced New Mexico game from the other week with two of the conference’s top two offenses.”
Fresno State (7-10, 3-3 MW) was picked to win the Mountain West, carrying 13 first-place votes. The Bulldogs are coming off a 80-74 loss at New Mexico in which they led going into the fourth quarter. Fresno’s three in-conference losses have all come against teams in the top four of the standings (NM, USAFA, UNLV). Reigning MW Player of the Year, Haley Cavinder, leads the MW in scoring and rebounding, while also ranking second behind McKenna Hofschild in assists per game. She has three triple-doubles and nine double-doubles this season.
Last Time Out
• Last time out, the Rams fell to Boise State, 69-64, in CSU’s first rematch of a Mountain West opponent this season. With 2:47 left, CSU obtained a four-point lead and its first time in front since the first quarter. However, the Broncos proceeded to grab five offensive rebounds and turned them into five second chance points down the stretch that helped recapture the lead and ultimately secure the win. The Broncos earned the split since CSU won game one in Fort Collins on Dec. 28th in the conference opener. BS outrebounded CSU 48-30 and performed better from distance at 58.3% compared to 28.6%.
What to Watch for vs. Fresno State?
• CSU Scoring Offense (69.0; #4 in MW) vs. FS Scoring defense (68.0; #9 in MW)
• CSU Scoring defense (61.12; #4 in MW) vs. FS Scoring offense (66.9, #3 in MW)
• CSU’s Least Fouls (195,#2 in MW) vs. FS FT% (.775, #2 in MW)
• CSU’s 3FG% Defense (31.4%, #4 in MW) vs. FS 3FG% (36.4%, #2 in MW)
Scouting Report on Fresno State
• The 2021-22 Broncos finished in 14-9 overall record with a 10-8 conference mark for sixth place. Although the Rams swept Boise State in the regular season, the Broncos defeated CSU 78-65 in the second round of the MW Tournament.
• The Broncos are slated to play four of their next five games at ExtraMile Arena.
• The Broncos rank in the top-three in several statistical categories in the Mountain West in the 2021-22 campaign, including assists, blocks, blocks per game, field-goal defense, free throw attempts, rebound margin, rebounds per game, and 3FG defense.
Assist Legend in the Making
• McKenna Hofschild is on pace (assuming there is 12 more games) for 193 assists this season, which would be CSU’s single-season record. The top 10 list starts at 132. Last season, the MW Newcomer of the Year had 114 in 21 games played. She needs one to tie that going into the Fresno State game.
• Career-wise at CSU, that same projection would put her assist total at 307. CSU’s career assist top 10 starts at 301. The junior has another season of eligibility. She had 31 assists at Seton Hall as a freshmen.
Protecting the Rock Better than ALL
• CSU continues to lead the NCAA in turnovers per game (9.9) and is second in assist to turnover ratio (1.53). Last season, CSU finished second and fifth, respectively, in those two categories. This season the Rams have had the same or less turnovers than their opponent in 11 of 17 games. Also, CSU has nine games with single-digit turnovers with three coming in conference play.
Murphy on the Glass
• Karly Murphy is third in the MW in boards per game (8.4) and fifth in total rebounds (134) but has played in less games than three of the four players ahead of her. She is on pace (assuming there is 12 more games) to have 234 rebounds, which would shatter her career best for a season. If she got close to that number, she would be flirting with CSU’s top 10 list for a season that starts at 248.
From the Line
• Last season, Ryun Williams‘ squad ranked 19th in the nation in free-throw percentage at 76.3%, which also went down as the second-best percentage in CSU history. Trying to replicate that success, CSU is 175 for 238 (73.5%) from the charity strike thus far, ranking 85th in NCAA. The trio of Karly Murphy, McKenna Hofschild and Upe Atosu are 140-of-187 for 74.9%. That means the rest are 35-of-51 for 68.6%.
• The Rams have five games under .700 from the line and four above .900.
CSU Home Promotional Schedule
• Aggie Game – Feb. 9th vs. Utah State
• Pink Out Game – Feb. 16th vs. Wyoming
• State Pride Game & Empower Women Day – Feb. 24th vs. San Diego State
• Senior Day/Green Out – Feb. 26th vs. UNLV
At the Helm
• A two-time Mountain West Coach of the Year and the winningest coach in program history, Ryun Williams enters his 10th season at the helm of the Colorado State women’s basketball program in 2021-22. CSU’s 5-0 start marked the first since the 2000-01 campaign. The win over Boise State made it the sixth time the program has started 10-1. For Williams it is his second such start, joining the 2015-16 team that finished 31-2 overall, winning the MW outright and advancing to the NCAA Tournament. Williams and Tom Collen (’97-98, ’98-99, ’00-01 and ’01-02) are the only CSU coaches to have 10-1 starts.
Series History: Colorado State – Fresno State
Overall: CSU leads 16-14
In Fort Collins: CSU, 7-6
In Fresno: Tied, 7-7
Neutral: CSU, 2-1
Current Streak: FS, 1
Last: FS 78, CSU 74 (12/4/20) at FS
Largest CSU Victory: 21
Largest CSU Defeat: 18
More on the matchup on pg. 8 of the Game Notes
A Colorado State Monday Win Would Mean…
• CSU moves to 8-7 at Fresno State all-time and back to .500 this season in the Mountain West.
How to Follow Along
Attached: Game Notes.
Live Stats: http://csura.ms/WBBStats
Live Stream: http://csura.ms/Live
Radio: Power 102.9 FM | https://csura.ms/Listen
Audio Stream: Varsity Network | https://csura.ms/VarsityNetwork
For More on Colorado State Women’s Basketball follow: Twitter – CSUWBasketball | Instagram – csuwbasketball | Facebook – @CSUWBasketball
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