CSU shoots lights-out in win over Drake women

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Drake women’s basketball team simply couldn’t stop Colorado State.

The Rams connected on eight 3-pointers and shot 58 percent from the floor while scoring 50 points in the paint during a 92-77 home win over the Bulldogs at Moby Arena.

Colorado State (2-1) got two big performances from its bench and five players scored in double-figures. Alicia Nichols had 22 points off the bench to lead the way, while A.J. Newton added 16 points, seven assists and eight rebounds. Caitlin Duffy’s 16 points and six rebounds also were off the bench.

“They are a very balanced team, but at the same time we didn’t do some of the things we needed to do,” Drake coach Jennie Baranczyk said. “They made us pay for every mistake we made. I am proud though of our team and how they fought back especially right before half to cut into that deficit.”

Drake (1-2) shot 41 percent from the floor and hit 12 3-pointers in the game but turned the ball over 17 times and got out-rebounded 38-31 in the loss.

Leading the way for Drake was Liza Heap and Kyndal Clark, who both scored 18 points in the loss. Heap and Ashley Bartow were both 4-of-6 from long range. Bartow was the third Bulldog to hit double-figures as she put in 14 points off the bench.

Gritt Ryder joined the double-digit scorers for the Rams with 12 points and 10 assists, while Elin Gustavsson chipped in 10 points and grabbed six boards. The Rams had 15 turnovers but assisted on 28 of their 38 field goals.

Colorado State’s lead at halftime was just three points at 42-39. The Rams grabbed the lead with a 17-3 run.

Drake got as close as 56-54 with less than 12 minutes to play, but Colorado State led by as many as 19 before winning by 15.

The 77 points and 12 3-pointers are both season-highs for Drake, which ends its road trip with a 7 p.m. tilt against South Dakota on Thursday.

Heap’s 37 minutes and 18 points were both career-highs and the effort came in her home state.

“Liza was outstanding both offensively and defensively today,” said Baranczyk. “She played so well in front of family and friends.”

The Bulldogs return to the Knapp Center on Nov. 24 to face Iowa State at 2 p.m.