CSU takes on ranked rival

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Dec 022003
 
Authors: Joelle Milholm

The CSU women’s basketball team will face its toughest challenge

to date tonight when they host No. 17 University of Colorado. The

Rams enter the game with a 3-1 record, while the Buffaloes are

currently 5-1.

The Rams seek redemption after having their 18-game winning

streak snapped at Moby Arena in a 75-61 loss to Boston College in

the championship game of the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational.

Although the team did not win the invitational for the first time

since 1995-96 season, there were still some standout performances.

Sophomore point guard Vanessa Espinoza scored a career-high 16

points and sophomore forward Lindsay Thomas pulled down a

career-high 12 rebounds.

Espinoza and Thomas, along with fellow starters Melissa Dennett,

Jasai

Ferrucho and Joy Jenkins have led the Rams to a balanced scoring

attack this season. All five average double digits in points per

game with Espinoza leading the team with 14 per contest. CSU also

has a strong presence on the boards, averaging 40.5 rebounds per

game compared to its opponents who averages 32 per game.

Colorado started the season ranked No. 20 in the Associated

Press top 25 rankings, but moved up to No. 16 after a 67-63

overtime victory over then-15th ranked Notre Dame. The Buffaloes

then dropped to No. 17 after losing to No. 9 Minnesota.

The game will be the first for Colorado since winning the 2003

Coors Classic on Saturday. Senior Tera Bjorklund will lead the

charge for the Buffaloes after being named Big 12 Player of the

Week last week. The 6-foot-5 center averaged 22 points and 11.5

rebounds in the Coors Classic and was named the tournament’s

MVP.

The Coors Classic title brought a milestone to Colorado head

coach Ceal Barry’s career as she earned her 400th victory in 21

seasons as a Buffalo. While Barry is optimistic about the Colorado

squad this year, a season-ending knee injury to sophomore guard

Whitney Law and a hip injury to freshman forward Anna Nedovic have

cut down the Buffalo’s numbers.

“Having Anna and Whitney out really hurts our depth,” Barry

said. “They were our eighth and ninth players, so that really cuts

us down to a seven-player rotation.”

The Buffaloes beat CSU last year 65-51, but the Rams have won

the last two games at Moby Arena in 1999 and 2001. The Rams have

won three of the last four meetings between the two teams, but

Colorado currently leads the all-time series 25-9.

The rivalry reignites tonight at Moby Arena at 7 p.m.

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