Two of the best players in the Mountain West Conference will go head-to-head tonight in Moby Arena at 7 p.m. when the Rams take on the Utah Utes.
CSU forward Melissa Dennett leads the MWC in rebounding, averaging 8.8 a game. Ute forward Kim Smith is close behind with 8.1 boards per game, but leads the MWC in scoring with 19.4 points on average. Dennett is fourth in scoring with 15.1.
But there is more to Utah's 6-foot-1-inch senior than MWC standings. Smith has started every game in the three years she has been at Utah. She has scored double-digits in 92 of the 96 games, and has more than 2,000 points. Her shooting, rebounding and leadership on the court won her the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year three times, and her list goes on.
"She's a great player and we know what we are going to do to control her," said head coach Jen Warden.
Utah is currently ranked second in the Mountain West Conference behind BYU. Besides Smith, Utah senior guard Shona Thorburn is the only other player averaging double-digits in points with 11.1, to go along with 6.5 assists per game.
CSU (8-13, 2-8 in MWC) has not played in a game since Feb. 8 when they fell to the New Mexico Lobos 85-51.
"We can't look to the past and the games we've lost," Dennett said. "We've really been working on being tough this last week. Practice has really stepped up and we have players who are coming out and working hard."
The two teams met earlier this season on Jan.14 in Salt Lake City where the Rams came up 16 points short with a final score of 73-57. Utah's defense held the Rams to a 7-minute scoreless drought and took a 10-point lead and never gave it back.
During preparation for the game, coach Warden said that "it will take defense not offense to win this game."