Women roll over Air Force

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Feb 082004
 
Authors: Joelle Milholm

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

own.

“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

Espinoza.

“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

dunk.)

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.

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