By ANNA HAYNIE
Plagued by a lackluster shooting performance and in-your-face defense from Colorado State, the Cougars couldn’t pull off a win Thursday night, Feb. 17.
The BYU women’s basketball team was trounced in Ft. Collins by the Rams, who are tied for second in the Mountain West Conference, 84-74.
“I think this is the toughest team performance we’ve gone up against this season,” head coach Trent Shippen said. “They just had an outstanding performance.”
It wasn’t that the Cougars weren’t scoring.
A few lucky scoring stretches for the Cougars in the second half brought the game close more than once.
Back-to-back threes from Erin Thorn closed the Rams’ 13-point half-time lead to three.
The Cougars, (16-7, 6-4) just had a hard time converting those close moments into a win.
CSU (17-5, 7-2) came back on an 11-point run, turning the three-point lead back up to 14.
“Every time we had a run, they matched it with a little run of their own,” Shippen said.
In what was hardly a low-scoring performance by the Cougars, the relentless full-court press from the CSU defense held the Cougars to only 43 percent shooting.
BYU, who typically shoots 37 percent from behind the arc, had no luck with three-pointers and went 5-for-20.
CSU, on the other hand, shot 59 percent from the field.
Jaque Johnson and Heather Haanen combined for 46 points to lead the Rams to victory.
The Cougars were hoping to see some of last week’s success — when they pulled in two wins, averaging 91 points per game — in their matchup with the Rams.
“I feel like we were much more prepared for this game,” Shippen said. “But they still matched us and had a great game tonight.”
After not touching the ball for three weeks due to an injury, Cady Williams got the OK from doctors to play in Thursday night’s game.
Williams didn’t miss a beat, and came in to lead the Cougars in scoring with 18 points.
“Cady had a great game for being out so long. She practiced yesterday for the first time in three weeks,” Shippen said. “It was amazing that she came out and did so well.”
Three other Cougars scored in double digits; Thorn contributed 12, and Jill Adams and Jennifer Leitner both added 11.
The Cougars continue their road swing, heading to Laramie, Wyo. this Saturday. Live coverage can be heard at www.kbyu.org/sports/wball.