Jan 292008
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

As head coach of the CSU women’s basketball team, Jen Warden has had significant success against San Diego State (4-1 all-time), but the SDSU team the Rams face at the Cox Arena at Aztec Bowl tonight isn’t quite the team CSU could look past like in years before – they’re stronger, quicker and more athletic. SDSU (11-7, 2-4) has won their past two games and if they are to win tonight against the Rams, they will have claimed their largest conference win streak in the past decade.

CSU (2-16, 0-5), on the other hand, is riding its worst losing streak (nine) since losing 13 in a row in 1977, and its star guard, senior Sara Hunter, is averaging only 5.4 points per conference game.

“Our main focus is to get a quicker offense going,” Hunter said after the loss to Wyoming on Saturday. “There’s really nothing else . with that I should be able to take more (shots).”

Hunter’s slump has led to the need of younger guards, like junior Kandy Beemer and freshman Bonnie Barbie, to step up and take a leadership role as floor general. Last season’s freshman lane-slasher Emily Neal has also rode the pine this year more than expected and seeing her earn more playing time soon wouldn’t be surprising.

“Bonnie is in a position to help us win a ballgame,” Warden said. “It seems that for every player who as already been here has started ahead of Bonnie. For Emily (Neal) and Sara, as Kandy and Bonnie progress, as Zoi (Simmons) progresses, they’re going to hear their footsteps. That’s what happens when players move to a college program, in their second semester they’re going to improve.”

Leading the charge for the Aztecs is sophomore guard Jene Morris, a UC-Berkeley transfer, who leads the conference in scoring with 18 points per game.

Her experience playing in the Pacific-10 Conference has certainly helped her become a respectable figure on a team not used to success in conference play.

Tonight’s Mountain West contest will feature two teams fighting for and against milestones and the game can be heard at 8 p.m. on 90.5 KCSU.

WBball beat reporter Matt L. Stephens can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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