While the CSU student body was enjoying a Thanksgiving feast and
a needed break from school, the women’s basketball team was working
hard and winning games. The Rams won their first three matches
against Texas Southern (85-51), Stephen F. Austin (72-57) and Long
Beach State (67-49), before dropping one to Boston College (79-61).
The stretch of holiday games began Nov. 21 with Texas Southern
visiting Moby Arena.
“Overall, it was a pretty good effort tonight,” head coach Chris
Denker said of the team’s 34-point victory.
“We came out a bit sluggish in the beginning, but if our defense
has energy, then we are going to be fine.”
Judging by the score, the Rams were more than fine in this
“I was encouraged by tonight,” said Melissa Dennett who had a
game-high 20 points. “We have a young team but we’re playing
In case the beating of the undersized Tigers from Texas Southern
wasn’t enough, the Rams took a road trip on Monday to Nacogdoches,
Texas, and served a pre-Thanksgiving loss to Stephen F. Austin.
Colorado State out rebounded the Lady Jacks 55-26 and had four
players score in double figures. Lindsay Thomas led the team with
17 points, Vanessa Espinoza and Jasai Ferrucho each had 14. And Joy
Jenkins posted her first career double-double with 11 points and 10
The feast came later in the week at the Coors Rocky Mountain
Invitational. The Rams dropped Long Beach State 67-49 in the first
round on Friday night, which gave CSU a 3-0 start on the season and
an invitation to meet Boston College in the championship game. All
five starters for the Rams scored in double figures.
“I’m pretty pleased with the way we played,” Denker said. “Once
we settled down, the team focused better. It was nice to see the
team playing defense like they did.”
The Rams would have to bring that same defensive focus on
Saturday night in order to beat Boston College. Last season the
Eagles beat the Rams 75-60. Both teams knew they were in for a
“We knew this was going to be a tough environment to play in,”
Boston College head coach Cathy Inglese said.
The Eagles got off to a good start as Lissa Mascchia of Boston
College scored the first points of the game. She tallied 17 points,
and her team went on to hand CSU its first loss of the season.
“I think the team was pretty gunned up for the game,” Denker
said, “but it was kind of a wild intensity.”
CSU was forced into 12 turnovers and was out-rebounded 15-11 in
the first half.
“It’s been the story of our life so far this season,” said guard
Jasai Ferrucho who had 10 points. “We play horrible in the first
half and have to try to battle back in the second half. Against a
good team like Boston College, you can’t do that.”
Starting at point guard Vanessa Espinoza led the Rams in scoring
with a career-high 16 points. Espinoza and Dennett (who had 13
points) were named to the all-tournament team. Others making the
all-tournament team were Alabama freshman Navonda Moore, Amber
Jacobs from Boston College (who had a game-high 22 points in the
Eagles’ win over the Rams) and teammate and tournament MVP Jessalyn
Denveny who chipped in 20 points.
“I wish we could say we did a good job defensively on them and
they still beat us,” Denker said, “but we didn’t defend like we
The Rams will have a few more days to figure out what they need
to do before they face No. 20 Colorado on Wednesday. Tip-off is set
for 7 p.m. at Moby Arena.