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Rams Breeze by San Diego State in Biggest Conference Win of Season

Fort Collins, CO – Fighting Like a Ram was taken to a whole other level Saturday on defense.
Max Ebert
The Ram’s Sydney Mech gearing up for another defenisve stand

After a rough loss to the Air Force Falcons in Colorado Springs on Wednesday, the Rams came back to Moby with a vengeance, grabbing their best win of conference play, 82-50, against the Aztecs in a Pink Out.

The 82-50 win marked the Ram’s biggest margin of victory in Mountain West play thus far in the season and a huge improvement from the 74-71 loss the Rams suffered to SDSU in overtime earlier on.

The Ram’s 82 points would seem to be the headline here, especially with McKenna Hofshild’s 34-point performance, but it was the Rams lockdown defense that was the highlight of the game.

The Rams held the Aztecs to just 50 points on the game, the second lowest they have held a team in conference play aside from the standout performance the Rams had in a sold-out Moby against San Jose State the week before at 49 points.

Despite the Rams own shooting struggles in the first quarter, the Rams held the Aztecs to just 3 points on 11% field goal shooting in the first quarter and outrebounded them 13-7. They would win the rebound battle of the game, 35-30, a point of emphasis for the Rams coming into today.

“In film, all we watch were mistakes we made in that past game…(rebounds) was a big part of it, we watched in the 4th quarter some big offensive rebounds (by SDSU), and we said ‘we’re not gonna let this happen this time’,” said Sydney Mech, when asked how big winning on the boards tonight was for the team to win after losing that battle in the overtime loss earlier in the season.

The Rams also won the turnover battle. The defense caused the Aztecs 19 turnovers during the game and forced turnovers for the Rams turned into 25 points of offense. After having a rough first half in which the Rams turned it over 12 times, they would lock it up and go the full second half without a single turnover.

The Aztecs ended their night going 33% from field goals, highlighted by only four points in the paint allowed by the Rams, compared to the 34 points the Rams scored in the paint. The Aztecs typically shoot 42% from the field, showing how well the Rams defended down low the whole night.

Another big part of the Rams game plan was dealing with the full-court pressure, which began as early as the second quarter. The Ram’s passes were locked in to avoid sloppy turnovers in the transition, and the Aztecs full-court press didn’t gain them any momentum throughout the game.

The Ram’s big defensive stand all night, as well as collected and clean offensive plays, sent the Rams to one of their best wins of the season, and Coach Ryun Williams would love to see momentum built off of the great performance.

“Our activity…we battled in the post, I thought we really committed to the glass…all I want (for the rest of the season) is they play with great intention, and they play very connected,” said Williams, when asked what he would like to see from the team’s excellent performance in the rest of the conference play for the season.

McKenna Hofschild finished the game Saturday with four points remaining before she breaks 2000 points with the Rams, which has only been done once before by Becky Hammon.

McKenna Hofshild has her big milestone coming up, and the Rams will look to continue their defensive dominance as they head to another home matchup on Wednesday, February 7th against Fresno State at 6:30 P.M. mountain time.