By JOEL CARLSON
Colorado State improved to 8-1 and snapped Montana’s two-game winning streak with a 75-43 victory over the Lady Griz Thursday night at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo.
The Rams held Montana (5-3) to 23.1 percent shooting and bottled up everybody but Kayleigh Valley, who finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, both game highs.
The Lady Griz trailed 41-20 at the half.
“It was another frustrating game,” said coach Robin Selvig. “You throw up 23 percent, you’re probably not going to beat a bad team, and these guys are really good. I was impressed with them.
“But it’s a team we should be able to play with. That’s the disappointing thing. We got our butts kicked, and that shouldn’t happen.”
Montana trailed 15-12 after the opening quarter, but the trend had been established. The Lady Griz got plenty of good looks but made just 4 of 18 shots for the period.
That percentage never improved, and Colorado State finally got rolling in the second quarter. The Rams found space in Montana’s spread-out zone and got high-percentage shots at will. They outscored the Lady Griz 26-8 for the quarter to blow the game open.
“I said going into this that if we could run good things and get good shots, we better make them, and we simply couldn’t,” said Selvig, whose team followed up its 4-for-18 shooting in the first quarter with a 4-for-19 effort in the second.
“It gets to be a pretty simple game at some point. You have to put it in the basket.”
Colorado State, which went 11 for 18 in the second quarter, scored the first 12 points of the period to take control.
“It was a nightmare second quarter,” Selvig added. “Pretty soon the other team starts scoring every time, and it gets frustrating. They had their way with us the last eight minutes of the second quarter.
“They just took it down to about six feet and jumped up and shot over us. They used their size really well and just got better shots than we did.”
Colorado State scored the first seven points of the third quarter and led by more than 30 for most of the fourth quarter.
Ellen Nystrom had 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Rams, whose only loss this season was by one on the road at Penn. CSU won 62-46 at Northern Colorado Tuesday night.
Colorado State shot 42.0 percent, close to its season average. On this night it was enough to produce a blowout.
Outside of Valley, who went 5 for 12, Montana’s other four starters hit five of their 33 shots. The bench players were 5 for 20.
“Other than Kayleigh, nobody made anything, and we’ve shown this year we’re capable of going out and not making any shots,” said Selvig. “Nobody off the bench came in and made shots either.”
Montana will play at Wyoming (4-3) Saturday at 2 p.m.