Mar 092004
 
Authors: Katrice Thomas

AIR FORCE (3-23 overall, 0-13 MWC)

Playbook: The Falcons are very active on the floor, battling for

everything they can get.

They’ll win if: They are the underdog and no one expects them to

win.

They’ll lose if: They play Air Force basketball. Falcons haven’t

won a postseason game since entering the Mountain West and no team

wants to be the Falcons’ first prey.

Players to watch: Letricia Castillo (12.0 ppg); Amoy Jackson

(5.5 rpg); Jennifer Roesch (2.7 assists).

Colorado State (17-9, 8-5)

Playbook: The Rams have a balanced scoring attack, along with

tough defensive players.

They’ll win if: They continue to play good basketball (five wins

in six games).

They’ll lose if: They don’t keep opponents off the boards, and

fail to play all 40 minutes.

Players to watch: Vanessa Espinoza (13.1 ppg); Lindsay Thomas

(7.2, rpg); Jasai Ferrucho (5.6 assists)

NEW MEXICO (19-7, 11-2)

Playbook: The Lobos style of play is in-your-face and takes

advantage of the energy that fills The Pit. Their style is also

referred to as “Pit Ball.”

They’ll win if: The nation’s top scoring defense continues to

dominate.

They’ll lose if: A lapse on defense could spell defeat.

Players to watch: Lindsey Arndt (10.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg); Mandi Moore

(4.3 assists)

Utah (21-6, 11-2)

Playbook: They keep the scores low with ball-control, using a

lot of the shot clock to wear out defenses and get the best

possible look at the basket.

They’ll win if: A sticky defense and a high-powered scorer in

Smith take care of business.

They’ll lose if: They don’t play Utah basketball and Smith

doesn’t produce points.

Player to watch: Kim Smith (15.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg); Shona Thorburn

(3.9 assists)

UNLV (20-6, 9-4)

Playbook: Henry is the scoring force behind the Runnin’

Rebels.

They’ll win if: They ride the confidence from their first win at

BYU in over 29 years this past weekend.

They’ll lose if: The conference’s leading scorer, RanDee Henry,

doesn’t produce.

Players to watch: RanDee Henry (18.6 ppg); Sherry McCracklin

(10.3 rpg); Sheena Moore (assist 3.0)

Wyoming (5-8, 9-17)

Playbook: It’s a one-women ball show: give it to Ashley Elliot

and let her score.

They’ll win if: Steady improvement continues and the Cowgirls

find a way to play well when the time is right.

They’ll lose if: The Cowgirls can’t find someone other than

Elliot to score. Elliot can’t take and make all the team’s

shots.

Players to watch: Elliot (16.5 ppg); Michelle Leiber (6.3 rpg);

Brenda Pickup (5.0 assists)

Brigham Young (15-12, 5-8)

Playbook: Find the open player and let them shoot. Everyone on

the floor is a scoring asset.

They’ll win if: They use a deep bench to wear out the

competition.

They’ll lose if: They have a defensive lapse for even a second,

allowing the opposing team to sneak by.

Players to watch: Julie Sullivan (10.1 ppg, 3.5 assists);

Danielle Cheesman (6.0 rpg)

San Diego (8-18, 3-10)

Playbook: This team plays hard nose, in your face, diving on the

floor basketball.

They’ll win if: The starters, each of whom can score from each

position on the floor, get hot.

They’ll lose if: The defense continues to give up too many

points. The Aztecs must tighten up on defense and stop the opponent

from getting open looks.

Players to watch: Michelle Elliot (12.4 ppg, 2.0 assists);

Ashlee Dunlap (8.1 rpg)

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