The CSU women’s basketball team has only six more chances to earn its first conference victory of the year in an attempt to avoid becoming the second team in school history to finish a season without a league victory.
The first chance of the final six comes tonight at 7 p.m. against Texas Christian (16-9, 9-2), who is currently second in the Mountain West and is riding a six-game winning streak, which includes victories over New Mexico, BYU and Wyoming.
With a loss, CSU would set a program record for the most consecutive losses in a row with 15.
The Horned Frogs are led by seniors Adrianne Ross, Moneka Knight and Lorie Butler-Rayford. While TCU is a very well-rounded team offensively, the trio of versatile guards have also combined for 136 steals on the season.
Entering tonight’s game at Moby Arena, the Rams have shown signs of getting over the hump the past few games. CSU coach Jen Warden feels the reason her team hasn’t been able to finish games out is due to the team’s inexperience.
“It’s just three months of development versus three years of development,” Warden said. “I can’t wait to be in a position where I have done this for two and a half years and (my players) look at me and don’t even have to say anything, but right now it’s teaching, teaching, teaching .”
And it will be assumed that the teaching will continue as athletic director Paul Kowalczyk recently said he has no intentions of abandoning the final two years remaining on Warden’s contract.
While the going remains tough, so do the women of Moby. When their senior leader, Sara Hunter, was asked if another win would come, her answer was short and to the point.
“Yes,” she said.
For all intents and purposes, this is a game that CSU is capable of winning as long as they do three things.
First, the Rams must hold on to the basketball. The last time the Rams and Horned Frogs met in Fort Worth, Texas, TCU capitalized on 25 CSU turnovers for 22 points. TCU’s margin of victory in that contest was 18.
Secondly, CSU needs to watch for cutters and screens. TCU is a team of versatile athletes that can beat its opponents from outside and inside.
CSU must make the Horned Frogs work and take forced shots.
Lastly, Warden’s team needs to dominantly win the rebounding battle, as TCU leads the Mountain West in offensive rebounds.
It is crucial that CSU’s Amaka Uzomah is a presence on both ends of the floor.
If the Rams can do those things, an upset of Texas Christian is something that is in reach.
Sports writer Matt L. Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.