While most other students are at home and eating turkey the CSU women’s basketball team will be preparing for the Rocky Mountain Coors Invitational.
After a disappointing exit from the preseason Women’s National Invitational Tournament, the Rams will look to make amends by winning the four-team, two-day tournament.
Instead of continuing in the WNIT this week, the Rams have been preparing for the tournament. The first game is on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. and by that time the Rams will have had 12 days away from the action.
“I’d rather be playing games,” said first year head coach Chris Denker.
The Rams will face the Davidson Wildcats the day after Thanksgiving to start the tournament. Then, depending on the results from the first games, the Rams will play either Xavier or the University of Louisiana-Monroe in either the championship or consolation game the next day.
CSU will be trying to correct the errors that cost them the game against Southern California in the WNIT last weekend.
“We have plenty of stuff to work on,” Denker said. “We need to work on our defense.”
The Rams have faced the Wildcats only once before, when Davidson came to Fort Collins during the 1996-97 season. The Rams won that contest, securing a 102-75 victory and will be looking to repeat the feat.
The Rams dropped from No. 18 to No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll following their 1-1 record after the first two games of the season.
The Wildcats are led by senior forwards Bethany Schott and Leah Uhernik. Uhernik is making a return to the court after missing 2001-02 season with a torn ACL.
This will be Wildcats’ coach Annette Watts second season at the helm. She likes to play high intensity basketball and her teams come out to play the full 40 minutes.
“We like to run the ball, utilize full-court press and do a lot of different things,” Watts said.
They will have to pull out all the stops if they hope to upset a bruised Ram team in their home arena at an elevation that will leave the North Carolinians gasping for air.
“We know what we’re up against and we know it’s going to be tough,” Watts said.
The Wildcats have a tough start to the season, traveling to Chapel Hill Friday to play in-state rivals the North Carolina Tar Heels. North Carolina made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in March.