Last place Rams seek a move from conference basement

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Feb 272002

If CSU wanted to climb out of the Mountain West Conference basement, it sure didn’t make the task easy on itself.

Sitting at 2-10 in league play, the Ram men’s basketball team’s final two games come against two of the top three teams in the MWC: league leader Utah (7 p.m. tonight at Moby Arena) and third-place Brigham Young (7 p.m. Saturday at Moby). For CSU to jump out of last place and take over the No. 7 seed for the MWC Tournament, beginning March 7, it needs to tie or surpass the conference win total of Air Force, which stands at 3-9 in league with two games left on its schedule.

Should CSU and Air Force end the season tied for seventh place, the Rams hold the upper hand in that they defeated the Falcons twice during the regular season.

But as the saying goes, CSU can only control what CSU does. So what can the Rams do? They think they can beat Utah (19-6 overall, 9-3 in MWC) despite being five points shy (67-62) of doing so Feb. 2 on the Utes’ home court.

“We know we can beat anyone in the league,” junior forward Brian Greene said. “We just haven’t put 40 minutes together a whole lot this year in league. We’re trying to get some momentum going into the tournament because anything can happen there – we win three games in a row and we’re in the NCAA (tournament). That’s what we’re playing for right now.”

For the Rams to play a solid 40 minutes, they know they need to be nearly flawless. After all, the Utes don’t expect to come into Moby and get upset.

They’re planning on stopping here, collecting another win and heading to Wyoming for a showdown on Saturday to determine the league’s regular season champ and No. 1 seed for the tournament.

CSU believes Utah head coach Rick Majerus won’t let his team get carried away with exacting revenge on Wyoming, who beat Utah 54-46 on Feb. 4, and will get them prepared for another tight one with the Rams. The Utes just want to get back on the winning track after losing a 63-61 decision to in-state rival BYU last Saturday.

“They’re not overlooking us at all,” CSU head coach Dale Layer said. “Without a win here, Saturday’s game is much less important. We’ll command their full attention because they’ve got a mature team.”

Greene figures to demand most of that attention, since he dropped 29 points on the Utes in the first meeting. Utah’s junior forward Britton Johnsen did his part to match Greene, finishing the game with 28 points. While CSU hopes home court advantage can account for the five points it was short last time, the Rams expect another shootout between Greene and Johnsen.

“Those are the fun ones when you got a couple guys going at it,” Greene said.

“Hopefully, we’ll come out on top this time.” n

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

NCAA colorblind towards Olympic skier

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Feb 272002

Not everything is black and white. Sometimes, there is a gray area.

The NCAA has rules and regulations about college players endorsing products, getting free products from companies or taking any money at all for what they do on the field.

This is completely understandable, and I agree with this logic.

But there is such a thing as over-regulation and the NCAA does it well.

Recently, Jeremy Bloom; U.S. Olympic mogul skier, University of Colorado football player and son of CSU sex professor Larry Bloom, was denied by the NCAA the chance to accept any endorsements he might have been offered following his Olympic appearance.


The NCAA says it’s simple. The NCAA has a longstanding ban on athletes accepting endorsement money. Period. The rule isn’t sport specific, they say.

This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

I would understand if he was planning on using his status as a CU football player to make money. If he was swishing down the slopes in a commercial that went something like, “After a tough day of NCAA athletic competition, I enjoy skiing on Volant skis and bindings.” – that would be one thing. That would be a blatant violation of the rules and would be unacceptable.

But this is indeed a special case.

Bloom overcame long odds to make the U.S. Olympic team. He delayed his entrance into college so he could have a chance to realize his once-in-a-lifetime goal, and he did so with CU’s blessing.

He then beat the odds and made it to the top of his sport, and now the NCAA says that he cannot reap the benefits of all his hard work? That is truly ridiculous.

The NCAA should look at cases like this individually and decide which situations warrant leniency and which should be thrown out. Say there is a college basketball player who also happens to be a world-class Tiddley Winks player. He should be able to endorse Tiddley Wink-related products, since basketball and winks are completely independent of each other.

Bloom’s Olympic sport, freestyle skiing, has absolutely nothing to do with football or any sport the NCAA sanctions or plans to in the future. Why should he not be allowed to endorse products that have nothing to do with CU, football, the NCAA or college in general? Well, the NCAA argues that if they allow Bloom to accept money for skiing endorsements, they would have to let everyone accept money for endorsements.

Yeah, well it doesn’t exactly work like that. Rare is the college athlete that has endorsement power by doing something other than what they do on the field. It’s not like there are thousands of U.S. Olympic skier/football players in college that the NCAA has to worry about. There is one. The NCAA should be able to make an exception in this case.

But they won’t.

The case is under review, but the NCAA has already made their stance on this issue known. They will not bend; the rules are in the book in plain black and white.

Too bad they don’t know there is a gray area once in a while.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Black history more than one month

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Feb 272002
Authors: Ben Sintas

The month of February is reserved for the celebration of black culture and contributions. During this month we profile dynamic black individuals, and focus our mainstream attention on their outstanding achievements. Young Americans in schools across the country meet George Washington Carver for the first time and taste his research subject, the peanut. Wartime veterans recall the bold strength of Tuskegee Airmen, while public spaces are friendlier thanks to people like Ms. Rosa Parks. On TV, black Americans are in public service announcements and Web links are added to link Web surfers to black culture Web sites. We remind ourselves of the impossible hardships of the Civil Rights leaders and once again mourn the death of the noble Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

But what happens when February is over?

Do we forget all we have learned? Do school children put away their “ethnic colored” crayons and reach for the peach like they have for the past 11 months? Do TV producers continue to “symbolically annihilate” black characters and whitewash regular programming? Do the accomplishments of oppressed black scientists go back into the seasonal closest hoping to reemerge next year? Do we forget the oppression and bigotry of Americans?

For us to move forward as a civil society, we must not limit ourselves in the celebration of our culture, our past and our people. Black history should not be just a month, but rather a lifetime appreciation. It is not a holiday, or a trendy issue; it is who we are as Americans.

Everyday, people deserve the right to awaken with the strongest sense of freedom. A freedom many of our grandparents fought for or against, or knew little about. A freedom that is newer to the elderly and assumed by the youth. A freedom to be. A freedom to buy shoes, a freedom to drink from a fountain, a freedom to live a life with dignity and respect.

Will this freedom be forgotten when the month is over? Will the events of Sept. 11 make us forget how far we have come? Has the threat of terrorism paralyzed us to the fight for individual rights? Will we continue to forfeit our privacy as fear consumes our homeland? The essentials of civil rights are celebrated in February but are compromised the rest of the year.

Dr. King did not intend his dream to be celebrated in just one month, but everyday. Black history tells the story about a fearful nation that oppressed itself, and the citizens who set it free. It is many tales we should tell our children along with other bedtime stories and weave into the canvas of our future.

I am grateful for the civil rights movement. I am grateful to our ancestors that valued their dignity and freedom over the fear and vulnerability imposed on them. I am grateful for the justice we call equality.

I am grateful to be me. I am grateful to be free. I am grateful; I can be grateful.

When the month is over, ask yourself what are you going to do now? Will you forget the importance of black history and take for granted the people who have fought for your freedom? Black leaders did not just fight for black people, but for equality for all people.

Remember that when March begins.

Ben Sintas is a senior majoring in speech communication.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Maybe, just maybe, we should drill anywhere

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Feb 272002

Many of us have seen those chilling commercials from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (the first of which ran during the Super Bowl) that allege if you purchase illegal drugs, you may be aiding a terrorist. Terrorists’ money for AK-47s, fertilizer and other weapons often comes from the sale of narcotics.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it also came from oil.

Seventy percent of the oil exported by Iraq goes to the United States. It wouldn’t shock me, for instance, if Saddam uses some of that 70 percent profit for ignoble purposes, such as the creation and study of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.

So a logical conclusion would be that if you buy gas, you might be aiding a terrorist.

No one would deny that this country is far too dependent on foreign sources of oil. Both parties agree there; the main discrepancy lies in the method by which to decrease our dependence.

“This dependence on foreign oil is a matter of national security,” President Bush reiterated Tuesday. “Let’s face it – sometimes we get oil from countries that don’t like us.”

I’m a strong advocate of research and development of new, Earth-friendly technologies such as hybrid cars and natural gas vehicles.

But I’m also a pragmatist – the Republican majority in the House and the powerful United Auto Workers union may not let those technologies spread quickly, at least not in the near future. And we need to become more self-sufficient in the damn near future.

The Senate this week took up debate on a comprehensive energy policy bill, the first of its kind for the nation. The bill is already fraught with political posturing and controversy, especially in light of the General Accounting Office’s recent lawsuit against the White House for its refusal to release energy meeting documents and the unfolding of the Enron mess. The Senate likely won’t go to conference with the House any time soon on this, and rest assured it won’t land on the president’s desk soon, either.

Among the concerns in formulating energy policy is whether or not we should drill for oil in the Alaskan Wildlife National Refuge, known as ANWR.

I don’t know that it should be ruled out.

Many Americans and CSU students like myself would oppose drilling in ANWR under normal circumstances. But these are most certainly not normal circumstances, and I oppose terrorism more strongly.

If we have to disrupt the environment a little bit for a couple of years, so be it, if it means we’ll be safe. I’m not a biologist or ecologist, but the new proposal released by the White House on Tuesday seems reasonable, and I don’t think it would bode extinction for any Alaskan wildlife or trees.

Sen. John Kerry, a Democrat from Massachusetts and possible presidential candidate, said Tuesday, “You can’t drill your way out of the problem … and you don’t get independent by drilling in Alaska.”

While that’s true, I lean more towards Sen. Frank Murkowski’s acknowledgement that it won’t eliminate our use of oil from the axis of evil, but, “You’re going to reduce your rate of dependence on foreign oil. Why get it from some unstable source?”

Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska and the ranking member on the Senate Energy Committee, is a strong advocate of Alaskan drilling.

We’ll work in the meantime to develop alternatives to fuel technology so we can gradually wean ourselves off oil altogether. But that will take time, a precious commodity we lack in the war on terror.

This is not merely a call to drill in Alaska, so hold the hate mail. If there are other options or areas for oil acquisition, they ought to be looked at first.

But those options are few and far-between, if not impossible right now, and all I’m suggesting is that drilling in ANWR not be entirely rejected as a means to reducing our reliance on Middle Eastern oil.

Becky is a senior studying journalism and history.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Drinking wine in moderation could

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Feb 262002

The unhealthy side affects related to alcohol consumption – beer belly, hangovers, liver damage, etc. – are well-known to most college students.

Some students may be surprised to learn of a possible healthy, but still intoxicating, alternative to beer and hard alcohol: Wine.

According to an article published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, moderate alcohol consumption (one or two drinks per day) may reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and lower your risk of a stroke.

Studies have shown that drinking a glass of wine once a day, or even once a week, can reduce the risk of stroke.

Researchers suggest that the alcohol breaks up blood clots and increases HDL (“good”) cholesterol in the bloodstream, thus helping to keep the arteries clean.

According to, wine also contains a compound known as resveratrol, which has been studied as an effective agent in fighting cancer.

A recent study by Harvard University found that moderate wine consumption reduces the risk of kidney stones in women by 56 percent. n

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Ciao Vino teaches

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Feb 262002
Authors: Natilia Peters

Smooth and sultry sounds of live jazz filled the room, broken from time to time by the laughter and chatter of customers. The lights were set to a romantic dimness, and the air was lightly grazed with aromas if Italy. With such a warm environment and welcoming appeal, it is no surprise Ciao Vino Wine Bar has received such outstanding community support.

“We’re growing, and we’ve had increased sales every month since we’ve been open,” said Patrick Laguens, manager of Ciao Vino.

Since its opening 14 months ago, Ciao Vino received the Wine Spectator Award for its enormous selection of 350 bottles of wine. Ciao Vino also features 47 types of fresh wine by the glass. They carry wine and beer from all over the world, including Israel, Greece, France, Italy and South Africa.

“I’ve been to many places, and nobody had remotely the amount of wine that we have by the glass,” Laguens said.

Ciao Vino’s mission statement says, “Learning about wine by teaching others about wine,” and there is definitely a great deal of learning going on there.

On Saturdays, Ciao Vino offers a two-hour wine tasting education class. For $25, participants learn the history of wine and the best climates in which to grow grapes. They also get to taste samples of food and wine.

Along with Ciao Vino customers, employees of the wine bar are constantly learning as well.

Each employee is required to write 3-5 page papers every two weeks about wine. As employees learn, they are more educated and prepared to discuss wine and answer questions for customers. There is even a small reference library of books about wine in the back of the store for employees to turn to when there are questions they cannot answer.

“We’re not coming off like we know everything and everyone else doesn’t,” Laguens said. “It’s about learning together.”

Ciao Vino offers a flight system on their menu, which allows customers to taste a variety of food and wine to figure out what they like best. Wine flights change every month, but the flights always feature three types of wine from a single category.

The menu, offers choices of nine cheeses, meats and vegetables. Ciao Vino prepares their own soups, salads and deserts. They also cure their own seafood. n

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Colorado vineyards surprising

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Feb 262002

Colorado’s unpredictable weather, high altitude and sometimes freezing temperatures make it seem an unlikely locale for wine cultivation. Yet, hidden in small isolated river valleys throughout Colorado lie over 150 vineyards that grow grapes used almost solely for the production of wine.

These vineyards are located in sheltered microclimates throughout the state, such as the Grand Valley of the Colorado River and the North Fork Valley of the Gunnison River, where weather conditions are not quite as harsh. However, Colorado grape-growers face many challenges that grape-growers in other states do not.

“(Grape growing) is a very difficult business here,” said Doug Caskey, executive director of the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board. “Our climate is very unpredictable. Although, because our climate is right on the threshold of where you can grow grapes, you get the best grapes possible. Grapes tend to grow better when they have to struggle.”

Grape growers in Colorado face many challenges including a dry climate, high altitude, expensive vineyard property and a shorter growing season.

Despite these many problems the wine industry in Colorado continues to thrive and grow, with almost 40 operating wineries in the state. This is more than most states in America, although it seems miniscule when compared to California’s 950 plus wineries.

Colorado even boasts the highest vineyard in the world; Terror Creek Winery, located in Paonia, Colo., stands at 6,400 feet above sea level.

John Merrick, co-owner of the Trail Ridge Winery, located in Loveland, Colo. said that one of the reasons he decided to open a winery in Colorado was the fact that he has lived in the state most of life.

He and his family purchased a vineyard in Loveland and in 1994 Merrick and some of his friends opened the Trail Ridge Winery, which has since won numerous awards for its high quality wine.

“Good quality fruit has been grown in Colorado since the 1900’s, so there was certainly a potential for a wine industry in Colorado,” Merrick said. “It was just a matter of taking the risk and having the confidence that it could work.”

However, Merrick admits that at times being a winemaker and vineyard owner in Colorado is a struggle.

Ironically, the unique growing conditions that make wine production such a difficult process in Colorado also can be attributed to the high quality of Colorado-grown grapes.

The dry climate of Colorado forces grape growers to irrigate, unlike grape growers in other states who can count on humidity and natural rainfall. Caskey said this is both good and bad. Although irrigation is expensive, it allows vineyard owners to control the exact amount of water their grapes receive.

Another advantage of Colorado vineyards is the soil, Caskey said.

“Our soils are actually much more akin to the soils of Europe. I think you get much more European characteristics in our wine,” he said.

One of the biggest disadvantages of grape growing in Colorado is the shorter growing season. This means that it is difficult to grow grapes that need a long maturation period. Even so, Horst Caspari, the state viticulturist, said that there are more than 35 varieties of grapes that thrive in Colorado.

Unpredictable frosts can have a very negative effect on grape growth, Caspari said.

“There was a frost in 1989 that made it so there was relatively no grape production in 1990,” he said. “The grapes have a hard time adapting to those fast temperature changes.”

Caspari is just one of many people currently conducting research through the CSU based Western Colorado Research Center at Orchard Mesa to deal with problems facing Colorado grape growers.

Currently, Caspari is working on finding ways to grow grapes with the least chemical input. There is already little need for chemical sprays in Colorado, because pest control is not really an issue.

“It is a tough climate to grow things in, but on the other hand it is a very good climate because Colorado doesn’t have some of the bugs and diseases that other states have,” he said.

One of the main problems Merrick experiences as a Colorado winemaker is the lack of knowledge about Colorado wines, he said.

“One of the limitations of my job is getting the public to recognize the Colorado wine industry,” Merrick said.

Caskey also said this is a problem. While wines in Oregon and Washington reach about 15 percent of their state’s population, wines in Colorado reach only about 1 percent of the state’s population, Caskey said.

Caskey and Merrick both willingly admit that wine production in Colorado is not an easy job, but to them and many other people, it is well worth it.

“It is a business that people really love,” Caskey said. “There is a lot of gratification in doing it.” n

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

No more Kevin Bacon

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Feb 262002
Authors: Lee Miller

Of the people who have read my columns over the last few weeks, most have probably already uncovered me for the moron I am and given up on me. For the rest of you who still torture yourselves with my prose, the following observations should have you fed up by the time you finish reading. Then I will only have my parents to read my writing and will be able to focus on my dream career: custodial associate at the adult book ranch.

Tiger Woods is most undoubtedly washed up. Don’t try to argue with me on this one because my friend Dan Moore agrees with me, and he is smarter than you.

I promise to never make a Kevin Bacon reference ever again. Seriously-

Does anyone else wonder how Dick Vitale can continue to be so loud and obnoxious with his lips securely planted on Jason Williams’ ass?

They should rename New Jersey Hughesylvania. What kind of name is New Jersey, anyway?

Be thankful you are not: Those two cross country skiers who got their gold medals taken away; Josh Howard of Wake Forest; the next head coach of the Oakland Raiders; Irina Slutskaya; Darryl Strawberry and that dude that got beat up by a girl at this party I was at on Friday.

Person I wish I were: the bikini wax technician for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Yep, that’s pretty much it.

The Olympics were great, but the four-hour closing ceremony extravaganza was a little too much. How many times are we supposed to watch a bunch of old people perform the exact same skating routine?

When describing something that smells bad this week, you should definitely use the word putrid.

The gyro stand on the north side of Mountain Street is much better than the one on the south side.

Did anyone else find himself or herself swearing profusely at Joe Sakic on Sunday? It’s times like these that really make me question my own integrity.

Here’s a great idea for Kevin Bacon’s next movie: Kevin plays the Amsterdam Admirals’ quarterback, who must compromise between his football career and a hash addiction, paired with his job in the red light district. This would be cinematically groundbreaking. And Kevin Bacon would be the star.

What would have happened if the Russians had actually pulled out of the Olympics? Would they also have pulled Yakov Smirnoff’s cameo in this week’s “King of the Hill?” Would President Bush add them to the list in his “Axis of Evil?” More importantly, would Russia start its own Olympics with the Koreans and Iranians? Be thankful Vladamir Putin is a reasonable man.

Forget Tyson vs. Lewis; the best fight of the year is going to be between Nick Van Exel and Mark Cuban when they get into a dispute over who can get more chicks.

Michael Jordan is injured and will supposedly miss a few games, thus making the NBA obsolete once again.

I just heard that Britney Spears might play Charlotte’s nympho niece on “Sex in the City.” Is there anything this girl can’t do?

I wish I were Ozzy Osbourne’s son; that would be so cool.

At my funeral I want my eulogy to begin like this: January 26, 1986, da year dat da Bears won the Super Bowl-.

At Athens in 2004, they will announce that disc golf will be accepted into the Summer Olympics. I’ll be there, with my wife, Petra Nemcova. It will be a glorious, glorious day.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Two seasons in one for CSU hockey

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Feb 262002

As you read this column, the CSU hockey team is thousands of miles away in the Big Apple. Right now, they’re gearing up for the first game of the ACHA National Tournament against the University of Indiana, representing their team, their school and their state. After a season of close games and blowouts, highs and lows, the team earned itself a No. 2 seed in the Western Conference and berth in the tourney.

But this summarization does not accurately represent the parody of the Rams’ season. It actually can be broken up into two seasons: the fall semester, in which the team barely kept its head above water; and the spring semester, when the Rams defeated every opponent.

Back in September, the team began its season with three straight losses and continued to struggle with a 2-5 record through mid-October. Luckily for the Rams, they played the lowly University of Northern Colorado four times in the fall, and, as they should have, defeated them four times. Those wins accounted for 40 percent of the team’s victories during the semester. The Rams basically beat the teams they should have, but could not defeat the powerhouses of the conference: University of Colorado, Utah State University and University of Utah.

This made my job more difficult; if you’ve never been a sports reporter, let me tell you it’s much more enjoyable when the team you’re covering is winning. At one point in the semester, after a series of tough road losses in Utah, the players refused to speak to my editor and thus got no coverage in the Collegian. When the dust settled on the fall semester, the Rams were 10-8-1 – not bad, but not good enough to get them into the tournament.

The two halves of the season were like night and day.

If that fall semester was the proverbial night for the team – the spring semester was the day, and what a beautiful day it was.

The team’s success did not begin with a big win or anything on the ice. The Rams’ fortunes shifted when they acquired the services of two new players: junior forward Josh Bowers and senior goalie Aaron Gaddis. Bowers, who transferred from Ferris State, joined his brother Jason on a line and provided the team with a much-needed offensive spark. Gaddis, who had played for the Rams a few seasons before, rejoined the team and gave the solid defensive unit a little more security between the pipes.

With these additions, the Rams began the spring semester with a huge upset over then-No. 1 Utah State, a team CSU had lost to in the first game of the season. The win seemed to completely transform the team. The players skated with a new confidence and swagger that was not there in the first half of the year. They played to their strengths, using their speed and defense to create goal-scoring opportunities. The Rams found themselves riding a wave – a huge one.

It washed over anything and everything, as the Rams defeated the top three teams in the conference and completely obliterated unworthy opponents who were unfortunate enough to have been scheduled in the Rams’ second half of the season.

And the wave didn’t break early.

The Rams rode it all the way to New York City.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Rams want to close with a bang

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Feb 262002

How do you make a 4-21 team that hasn’t won a conference game in nearly two years seem like a championship-caliber opponent?

That’s the question facing CSU women’s basketball head coach Tom Collen, whose Rams can guarantee themselves at least a share of the conference title with a win over Air Force (4-21 overall, 0-12 Mountain West), tonight at Moby Arena.

Though beating the Falcons hasn’t been a problem /_” CSU hasn’t lost to the Falcons in more than 12 years /_” Collen was concerned the Rams didn’t take Air Force seriously during their last encounter, a 63-55 win in Colorado Springs. Though the Rams rallied for the victory, they trailed deep into the second half and ended up escaping the Falcons rather than dominating them.

For a CSU victory this time around, Collen said the Rams must pick up their intensity.

“We need to approach this as a championship game,” Collen said. “The team realizes they didn’t take them as seriously as we should have last time. We have to be more intense.”

The intensity can begin on the offensive end, where the Rams will be looking to their post players for production. The Rams hold a large advantage over the Falcons and they will once again be looking to juniors Lisa Narkiewicz and Shannon Strecker to lead the attack in the paint.

Having production in the post certainly can’t hurt the Rams. Colorado State is 16-1 this year when their post players combine for a double-double in points and rebounds, as opposed to 5-4 when they fail to reach double figures in both categories.

“We had a lot of looks inside last time where we didn’t get the posts the ball,” said junior forward Ashley Augspurger. “It’s definitely a focus for us this time around, getting them the ball.”

Augspurger, one of the Rams’ most versatile offensive threats, could eclipse a major milestone on Wednesday.

The Lakewood, Colo. native needs only five points to reach 1,000 for her career. Should she hit the 1,000-point mark, she will be only the 12th player in program history to reach that mark. n

 Posted by at 5:00 pm