For the Air Force women’s basketball team, it was over just as
fast as it started. The Rams came out and racked up a 21-0 lead and
continued to dominate the remainder of an 83-46 CSU victory
Saturday night at Moby Arena.
“We’ve had our share of slow starts but that was a great start,”
CSU head coach Chris Denker said. “I haven’t coached a start quite
like that. They looked good doing it, they looked sharp, hit shots
and got steals.”
Air Force got off to a rocky start with six turnovers, two
shot-clock violations, one offensive foul and six missed field
goals. The team finally hit two free throws to get on the
scoreboard 9:18 into the game.
CSU sophomores ran the show as center Lindsay Thomas led all
scorers and tied a career-high with 19 points, while forward
Melissa Dennett and guard Vanessa Espinoza each totaled 18. Dennett
grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and blocked three shots and
Thomas pulled down six rebounds.
“LT was awesome in the beginning. Diesel really worked hard in
the second half,” Denker said of Thomas and Dennett. “They were
really huge in there. When a team zones you, you still want to be
able to go inside and we did.”
The Rams dominated the Falcons defensively as senior guard Jasai
Ferrucho had five steals and the team combined for 11. The Rams
forced 24 Air Force turnovers, while only having 10 of their
“We had a definite size difference,” Thomas said. “Our guards
were able to get it to us and we made shots. We had some really
good defense that led to some transition points as well.”
All 12 Rams who suited up saw playing time, including freshman
Marilyn Moulton, who scored a career-high eight points.
“We got a good lift from everyone that played,” Denker said. “It
was an all-out team effort.”
CSU hit eight 3-pointers in the game, four of which came from
“I feel good out there. My teammates are looking for me,”
Espinoza said. “I guess it is just luck.”
With Espinoza hitting seven 3-pointers in the last two games and
ranking second in the Mountain West Conference in 3-point field
goal percentage at .465, her hot shot is hardly lucky.
In the win, the Rams collected their second straight victory and
advanced their record to 12-8 overall and 3-4 in the MWC. Air Force
dropped to 3-17 overall and is still looking for its first
conference victory at 0-7.
The Rams will travel to the Beehive State to face the
conference-leading Utes from Utah on Thursday and Brigham Young on
Saturday. With the first half of conference play complete, the Rams
are looking to have a stronger second half.
“We are clawing our way back,” Espinoza said. “This team is a
fighter and we proved we can bounce back.”
The Good: One of Ferrucho’s nine assists came in the second half
when she threw the ball toward the hoop and Dennett grabbed it in
midair and put it in the basket to complete the ally-oop. (For
women, aside from Lisa Leslie, that is as close as it gets to a
The Bad: CSU had 10 personal fouls in the second half and put
Air Force in the bonus 8:30 into the half.
The Ugly: Air Force made its first field goal with 8:53 left in
the first half.