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Sports / Recreation

Rams come up just short vs. Wyoming

March 14, 2013

The CSU women's basketball team came within a heartbeat of pulling off the upset of the season Thursday night at the Mountain West Tournament before falling 60-58 to Wyoming in a Border War quarterfinal.

CSU's Meghan Heimstra drives for 2 of her 10 points Thursday night vs. Wyoming. It was Heimstra's final game as a Ram.Chelan Landry’s off-balance layup while falling down with 19 seconds left proved to be the difference for Wyoming (24-6). CSU’s Sam Martin’s 6-foot attempt to push the game into overtime just slid off the rim as time expired, ending the season for the Rams (11-19).

“We put ourselves in position to beat the No. 3 seed in the tournament and came up a little short,” first-year CSU coach Ryun Williams said. “I’m really proud of my team. They played their hearts out tonight.”

The Rams looked to have the upset in hand when they opened a 49-35 lead on Hayley Thompson’s 3-pointer with 14:42 to play. Up to that point they had played their best basketball of the season, getting contributions from every player Williams sent to the floor.

But Wyoming, which handily beat the Rams twice in the regular season, responded with a 17-0 run over the next 9 minutes, taking its first lead since the opening minutes on Landry’s 3-pointer.

“It was a tough 9 minutes,” Williams said. “When you get that opportunity, up 14, you have to keep the foot on the gas. We just needed to make a few more baskets.”

CSU took its last lead at 57-55 on Mandy Makeever’s short shot from the lane with 3:15 to play. Meghan Heimstra had a chance to give the Rams the lead with 44 seconds left but hit just one of two free throws to forge a 58-58 tie and set up the dramatic finish.

Still, the Rams walked away from the Thomas & Mack Center feeling good about their effort and about the future. Heimstra, who closed out her outstanding career with 10 points, 4 steals, 3 blocks and 2 assists, is the only departing senior, and the Rams were vastly improved in the final month after struggling for most of the season.

“We felt like a real team out there. We played hard and we did not want to lose,” said Martin, who led the Rams with 14 points and 6 rebounds. “We’ve come a long way from the start of the season. I’m really proud of my teammates.”