Oct 302008
 
Authors: Justin Warren

The CSU women’s basketball team will kick off the start of the 2008-2009 season tonight at 7 p.m. in Moby Arena.

The Rams play host to Adams State College Grizzlies of the NCAA Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference for the first of two exhibition games before the season officially begins.

This year, the Rams will be coached by Kristen Holt, who was promoted from assistant coach to head coach after Jen Warden was fired last March.

Coach Holt hopes her new format for the team will have better results than last year’s game plan.

“We have a different style than we did last year and I think the players are excited to play that more up-tempo format,” Coach Holt said.

Coach Holt and the Rams hope to turn this season around from last year’s disappointing 2-27 regular season.

The projected starting five for tonight are Australian native Carine Reimink at center, forwards Juanise Cornell and Britney Minor, and guards Zoi Simmons and three-point ace Kandy Beemer.

“I think this season will go good,” said power forward Juanise Cornell. “It is a lot different than the last three years and we are going to be a lot more focused on defense.”

The captain for the Rams will be senior guard Kandy Beemer, who will be switching off the point guard position with sophomore Zoi Simmons, and moving to shooting guard.

“I think we will play better basketball all around this year,” Beemer said.

The starting five only have an average height of 5 ft. 8 in., but with the quickness and aggressive play the team has shown in practice, the Rams will be tough competitors for Adams State.

“Defense is a real emphasis this year and I think the kids like the new format,” coach Holt said.

Comparing the two teams based on last year’s final stats, on paper Adams State has a slight advantage in points per game, field goals and rebounding percentages. However, the teams look very equal in every other aspect.

The Rams concluded last year’s Mountain West Conference Championship with an upsets over UNLV and third ranked Utah. The Rams hope to carry that momentum into the start of this season.

“I think we will see improvements this season, even if it is not in the win/loss column,” coach Holt said. “I need my experienced players to step up this season.”

The Rams will play one more exhibition game on Nov. 7 against Colorado Christian at Moby Arena. The team will then open the regular season playing away at Wichita State.

Tonight’s admission at Moby Area is free for all, with a Halloween costume contest and a trick-or-treat session following the game.

Everyone is encouraged to come out and support the Rams in their first game of the season.

Women’s basketball beat writer Justin Warren can be reached at sports@collgian.com.

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