Nov 132005
Authors: Stacey Zynen

The Orediggers went looking for gold on Sunday but came up empty handed.

The CSU women's basketball team dominated the School of Mines in their second exhibition game of the 2005-06 season with a final score of 76-51.

CSU took the lead in the first few minutes and kept it throughout the entire game. Their strong defense caused the Orediggers several turnovers and three shot-clock violations in the first half.

Lindsay Thomas led the Rams in scoring with 17 points while shooting 5-for-5 from the free throw line.

Junior Liz Kramer came off the bench and contributed 10 points to the final score. She said she was pleased with the team effort.

"It's been really exciting and I am confident in my teammates. We have a positive atmosphere all around. I really think Vanessa (Espinoza) did a really good job on defense," Thomas said.

Senior guard Vanessa Espinoza ended the game with 12 points and six rebounds.

"In the beginning I struggled with shooting. My shots weren't falling so I made up for it on defense. This game was a complete turn around from Wednesday's game," she said.

Head coach Jen Warden agreed with Espinoza, commenting on the team's improvement from their first exhibition game against Fort Hays.

"We played with good intensity and energy. The intangibles from the last game were still there today. Some things that were missing on Wednesday we picked up today," she said.

As a team, the Rams shot 86 percent from the free throw line compared to the Mines' 66 percent.

"We are all freshmen to the new system but we are adjusting really well. It takes time and we are working hard," Espinoza said.

The School of Mines was led by guard Iva Tomova, who scored 20 points in the losing effort. Liz Jeffries, Angela Pearson and Ashley Gronewoller finished with eight points each for the Orediggers.

CSU's defense hustled hard in man-to-man defense the entire game, causing the School of Mines to turn over the ball 23 times.

"I think we are starting to feel more comfortable in our skin," Warden said. "At first it was so obvious that we were getting the shots we wanted. It was only a matter of time before our shots started falling."

Senior forward Melissa Dennett scored 11 points and snatched six total rebounds.

The team will continue to work on their struggles until they find their rhythm for the season.

"We need to engage in a type of ball pressure which continues to make the other team uncomfortable with shooting, but it was good to see the fruit of our labor tonight," Warden said.

The next game for the Rams will be the season opener at 7 p.m. Nov. 22 at Moby. They host Concordia-St. Paul.


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