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Marsh leads New Mexico to rout of Colorado St.

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) -- Colorado State's defensive plan to shut down
New Mexico forward Dionne Marsh was to get in her face early.

Bad idea. Predictable result.

Marsh scored 21 points and reserve guard Julie Briody had four
steals in the first half as No. 20 New Mexico routed the Rams 85-51
Wednesday night.

CSU's trio of 6-foot-4 Marilyn Moulton, 6-3 Lindsay Thomas and
6-2 Melissa Dennett took turns trying to keep the 6-1 Marsh out of
the paint, but their aggressiveness only served to kick-start
Marsh's prolific jumpshot.

"The post players getting up in her face got her a little mad.
And when Dionne gets mad, she's going to take it out on whoever is
guarding her," Briody said. "That's what she did really well
tonight, attack the defense. I think she really got upset at the
way they were playing defense and took it at them."

New Mexico (17-6, 7-3 Mountain West) snapped a two-game losing
streak and avoided losing three in a row for the first time in
nearly six years. The Lobos, who lost road games at BYU and Utah
last week, also extended their home winning streak in the
conference to 32 games.

Colorado State (8-13, 2-8) has lost eight of nine. Molly Nohr
and Melissa Dennett each scored 12 points to lead the Rams.

Sara Hunter, with 10 points, and Nohr, with eight, accounted for
18 of the Rams' 20 first-half points. CSU's only other points in
the first 20 minutes came on an offensive rebound basket by center
Lindsay Thomas.

Marsh, who shot 8-for-10 while playing just 22 minutes,
consistently found holes in the Rams' defense to score off
turnaround jumpers in the lane over the taller frontline of Thomas,
Dennett and Moulton.

"We tried to keep her out of the paint, out of her scoring
range," Colorado State coach Jen Warden said. "She's very quick
and has a very high release, which makes her very effective around
the paint."

Back-to-back baskets by Nohr gave the Rams their only lead at
11-10. Marsh scored after grabbing an offensive rebound to start a
10-0 run by New Mexico. Briody had three steals during the run, two
of which led to successive baskets by Angela Hartill.

Briody deflected a Colorado State pass in the final seconds of
the first half, then scored at the other end to give the Lobos a
39-20 lead at the break.

"Coach preaches every day in practice to keep your hands up on
defense," said Briody. "I figured if I'm going to get minutes,
I'm going to make the most of it."

New Mexico ended any comeback bid by the Rams by opening the
second half 5-for-6 in a 13-2 run. Brandi Kimble, who along with
Briody scored 13 points apiece, hit a 3-pointer for a 52-22 lead
with 16:18 left.

The runaway win allowed New Mexico coach Don Flanagan to
substitute freely, allowing some of his regulars who are nursing a
variety of injuries to rest.

Starting center Jana Francis played 17 minutes with her left
hand heavily taped to protect a bruised bone, and point guard Katie
Montgomery, hampered by an injured right foot, played just 18
minutes.

"One of the best things you can do in a game like that is get
everyone in and get them playing time -- people that need the time,
people that need the experience and people that need the
confidence," Flanagan said.

Colorado State did not shoot a free throw until 11:50 remained
when Liz Kramer was fouled inside. New Mexico shot 37 free throws
to the Rams' 10, and the Lobos outrebounded the Rams 41-28.