Sin City hasn’t been kind to the CSU women’s basketball team; in fact, in the past five years the Rams are 1-8 in Las Vegas, splitting games between the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion. Tonight CSU will face Mountain West Tournament Championship-host Nevada-Las Vegas in the play-in game at 7.
CSU (2-27, 0-16) was the fourth team ever in MWC history to finish a season winless in conference play, giving them the number 9 seed in this week’s tournament. The Rams have never finished last in the Mountain West, but since the conference’s expansion to nine teams in 2005-06 making the play-in game necessary between the 8 and 9 seed, CSU has participated both times with a record of 1-1.
While rock bottom is new grounds for CSU, it is also uncharted territory for UNLV. The Lady Rebels (8-21, 4-12) have never finished below sixth in conference standings prior to this season.
UNLV is led by the nation’s 23rd leading scorer, Sequoia Holmes, who averages 18.7 points per game. In the Rams and Rebels last two match-ups, Holmes has averaged 17.5 points and 9 rebounds.
While tonight may be the final game of a disappointing season, it could also be the final chapter of what Ram faithful have come to know as the “Sara Hunter Story.” Though her tenure has been short-lived each of the previous years of the Mountain West championship, Hunter, who was recognized as an all-conference honorable mention Monday, has had success in the tournament.
The Fort Collins native set three program records for conference championship play as a freshman for points in a game (25), 3-pointers made (7) and 3-point percentage (.700) against eventual tournament runner-up BYU. And Hunter averages 14 points per game in the tournament for her career.
Though tonight’s game is the only of the MWC Championships not being televised on the Mtn. and Versus, it can be heard on 90.5 KCSU.
The Rams were unavailable for comment on Monday because of travel.