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Rams fall to the Mississippi State Bulldogs 82-75 to finish conference play 9-2

Fort Collins, CO- The Rams’ explosive 3rd quarter wasn’t enough to take down the Bulldogs.
Photo by: Grace Goolsby (The Collegian)

After a weekend going 1-1 in the Beach Classic in Long Beach, CA, the Rams lost to a strong SEC squad in the Bulldogs 82-75, despite their 26-point 3rd quarter, to finish off their non-conference schedule 9-2 before heading into conference play.

The Rams continued to miss Cali Clark, previously their top rebounder on the season, for the fifth straight game in a row, as they were out-rebounded 43-27 overall, and 15-3 in the 4th quarter.

The Rams were behind from the start, as the Bulldogs’ Lauren Park-Lane, who typically averages 7 points per game, started hot with 6 points in the 1st for a 21-19 lead. Park-Lane’s big night would continue throughout, as she would total 33 points on the night with a Moby arena-record 10 three-pointers made.

McKenna Hofshild, when asked about Park-Lane’s big night, was reflective on the Rams’ night, stating, “Hats off to her, she shot it well…at the end of the day I think we had the win in our hands I think we were in control of our own destiny in that game…if that’s how they are gonna beat us then hats off to them.”

Hofshild also had a big night, totaling 25 points and having some amazing, precise assists early on to keep the Rams in it and even ahead at points with her big 11-point 3rd quarter. However, she went cold in the 4th with 3 late missed three-pointers and only 4 total points in a tough quarter that held the Rams back in a frustrating loss.

Kendyll Kinzer had a great night, scoring 18 points and going 4-8 from three including a buzzer-beater shot to end the Rams’ strong 3rd quarter 64-56 Rams. She also performed well against the tall Mississippi State Bulldogs forwards Jessicka Carter (6’5”) and Quanriah Montague (6′ 6”), holding the two to just 14 points and limiting their effect down in the paint.

Sydney Mech had a strong night as well, scoring 14 going 7-12 from the field, and grabbing 4 rebounds.

The Rams ended a strong out-of-conference schedule at 9-2, an impressive performance from the talented team that bodes well for Mountain West play. When asked what Coach Ryun Williams’ message to the team is heading into the break before conference play, he said, “They’ve risen to a lot of different challenges that we’ve put in front of em..get rest and reset a little bit and come back hungry to chase a championship.”

The Rams finish their non-conference with the second-best record in the Mountain West only to UNLV. They will look to go into conference play strong as their first test comes away against the San Diego State Aztecs on 12/30 at 2 pm in San Diego.