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A notable 2016-17 season for the Colorado State women’s basketball team came to a close on Sunday, as the Rams fell to the UC Davis Aggies, 58-57, in round two of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament at Moby Arena.
With Sunday’s result, Colorado State finishes the season with a 25-9 record and a 15-3 Mountain West record. The Rams close a historic 2016-17 season that included an unprecedented fourth consecutive Mountain West regular season title, something no other women’s or men’s basketball team has ever accomplished in conference history.
CSU was once again led offensively by its seniors, Ellen Nystrom and Elin Gustavsson. Nystrom scored 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while Gustavsson scored 12 with as many rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season. The duo close their collegiate careers as the winningest female or male basketball players in Mountain West history by nearly any measure. Gustavsson and Nystrom are the only women’s or men’s basketball players in conference history to win the regular season league title four times, while their 63 regular-season conference wins are by far the most by any women’s or men’s basketball player in Mountain West history.
CSU led 32-26 at halftime, but UC Davis (25-7) used a 17-point third quarter to pull ahead, 43-42, heading to the final quarter. The lead changed hands three times in the fourth quarter, but ultimately, UC Davis would maintain its one-point edge at the final buzzer. CSU took the lead back immediately to start the fourth quarter, as Myanne Hamm made a three-point on the Rams’ first possession. Hannah Tvrdy followed with a three on the next possession, and the Rams led, 48-43, through the first minute of the fourth quarter.
Following the run to start the fourth quarter, the Rams were unable to come up with a field goal for the next four minutes, and the Aggies took the lead back, 50-49, with 5:09 to go. Hamm came up with another big play to retake the lead, as she completed a three-point play to put the Rams up, 52-50, with just under five minutes to go. From that point, the Aggies went on another run, using a jumper, layup and two free throws to take a 56-53 lead with 3:22 remaining. That three-point lead held until the final minute, when Nystrom buried a layup to cut the deficit to 58-57 with 47 seconds to go. The Rams made the final stop they needed, but were unable to convert on their final offensive possession and the score remained 58-57 at the final buzzer.
CSU and UC Davis were knotted up at 16 after one quarter, with Nystrom and Sofie Tryggedsson combining for all 16 Ram points in the opening period. The Rams opened the second quarter on a 6-0 run, scoring on layups by Tvrdy and Hamm, as well as on a jumper by Gustavsson. Although the teams answered back-and-forth throughout the period, Gustavsson tallied four points in the final minute of the second quarter to send the Rams to halftime with a 32-26 lead.
Notably, the Rams held UC Davis’ leading scorer, Morgan Bertsch, without a point on Sunday. The Aggies’ Dani Nafekh, who entered Sunday’s matchup ranked third in the nation in three-point percentage, was held to six points and 0-for-3 shooting from three-point range. Rachel Nagel led UC Davis with 16 points, while each of UC Davis’ Kourtney Eaton and Pele Gianotti scored 12 points.
Featured Image Credit: CSU Women’s Basketball, Twitter