For one afternoon, CSUâ€™s womenâ€™s basketball will exchange green and gold for pink during its game against UNLV Saturday.
The Rams annual Pink Zone game is part of the Womenâ€™s Basketball Coaches Associationâ€™s initiative to help raise breast cancer awareness.
CSU defeated the Lady Rebels 66-65 earlier this season in Las Vegas in overtime. Since that game, CSU has gone two and five while UNLV has won three of the six games theyâ€™ve played.
The Rams have never lost to the Lady Rebels under Holt, winning all three games during her tenure.
â€œTheyâ€™ve had some quality wins lately, and theyâ€™ve done really well on the road,â€ head coach Kristen Holt said. â€œWeâ€™re gonna have to bring our A game. I donâ€™t think itâ€™s a case where we can really overlook anybody.â€
This season the Lady Rebels have gone 12-14, including a five and seven record in the Mountain West Conference. They rank last in the league in shooting percentage, making only 35.6 percent of their field goals. To balance that, UNLV pulls down 14.4 offensive rebounds per game, more than any other team in the league.
â€œTheyâ€™re just really aggressive and pretty fast,â€ said sophomore Chatilla van Grinsven. â€œIf we donâ€™t box out like weâ€™ve been practicing, they will get the offensive rebound.
UNLV sophomore Jamie Smith leads the conference with 10 rebounds per game, 3.6 per game on the offensive end.
During Wednesday nightâ€™s loss to BYU, the Rams shot a woeful 37 percent from the floor and allowed three different opponents to score double figures.
â€œWhen weâ€™re not mentally ready to play, it will affect everything that we do,â€ Holt said. â€œOur motion offense was just stagnant. Weâ€™re doing a lot of things where weâ€™re trying to go one-on-one instead of working together.â€
CSU only dished out 14 assists against the Cougars compared to 15 turnovers.
UNLV and CSUâ€™s overtime match up in January nearly forced the Rams to finish the game with four players. At the time they only suited up eight players due to injury and had sophomores Meghan Heimstra and Natalie van den Adel foul out.
â€œHopefully we can keep people out of foul trouble, and we have nine players we can use,â€ Holt said.
Sophomore Kim Mestdagh carried CSU to victory in that contest, scoring 23 points on the evening and hitting a three-pointer with 11 seconds left to seal the win.
â€œWe gotta take away their strong points, for them thatâ€™s penetration,â€ she said. â€œWeâ€™ve gotta keep helping each other, rotating, go out on shooters and grab the rebound.â€
Womenâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.