For the first time this season, the CSU women’s basketball team will travel away from Moby Arena for a game. The Rams play the University of Denver Pioneers at Magness Arena in Denver tonight at 7 p.m.
DU is hurting after a 65-62 loss to Wyoming in their season opener while CSU rides a two game winning streak.
“You always want to be able to beat your in-state opponents,” said head coach Kristen Holt. “I’m sure they’re focused and ready.”
Last season the Rams lost to the Pioneers 53-69 in Fort Collins, but neither the coaches nor the players see this as a “revenge game.”
“It’s not revenge. It’s just competition,” junior guard Bonnie Barbee said. “Each team wants to win. We’re gonna be the team that wants to win more.”
Holt added to Barbee’s thoughts: “It’s a new year, a new team. They have a different team. I think it would be a good win for us to make it our third regardless of who we’re playing.”
While this will be CSU’s first trip out of Fort Collins this season, Holt does not consider a road game in Denver to be a tougher place to play.
“I don’t really see why it should be, especially a game like this,” she said. “We get to sleep in our own beds. We’re just hoppin’ on a bus at 4 (p.m.).”
She also prepares her team the same way regardless of whether a game is at home or away.
Freshman guard Chantel Kennedy echoed her coach saying, “We just like working hard, and we’ll play our game.”
This week, the Mountain West Conference named CSU sophomore guard Kim Mestdagh its Women’s Basketball Player of the Week after she averaged 19 points and 6.5 rebounds in convincing wins over Montana and Wichita State.
“I’m really happy for her, and it shows how much improvement she’s made in a year,” Holt said of the accomplishment. “Plus it’s great for our program. We haven’t had an award like that since 2005 (Melissa Dennett and Lindsay Thomas).”
Women’s basketball beat reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.