The Rocky Mountain Showdown rivalry takes to the hardwood tonight as the CSU womenâ€™s basketball team (5-2) travels to Boulder to face archrival CU (6-2).
In the two teamsâ€™ long history, the Buffs lead 29-11, but the Rams are coming off a big victory last year in Fort Collins 69-61. With last yearâ€™s game fresh in its mind, CSU feels confident that it can have a repeat of 2009.
â€œWe beat them last year and we want to keep that going,â€ said senior Zoi Simmons.
CSU is coming off a comeback victory last Thursday against Northern Colorado (73-66) in a game the Rams started out slow but blew up offensively in the last 20 minutes.
The win marked the teamâ€™s fifth in a row, the longest streak since 2004. A win tonight will extend that to six, but the Rams are assured they have focused on their next game and not the streak.
â€œImmediately after UNC, we turned our focus on our game against CU,â€ senior Bonnie Barbee said.
The Rams will face an athletic CU team that has its own five-game winning streak this year and a defense that holds its opponents, on average, to 52 points.
â€œWeâ€™re just going to need to play good defense, box out, and play as a team,â€ Simmons said.
Offensively, the Buffs are putting up big numbers with a win differential of 15 points, which is mostly done on the shoulders of their two best players in sophomore Chucky Jeffery and senior Brittany Spears, who are averaging 16.6 and 17.1 points per game, respectively.
â€œTheyâ€™ve got two great players that we need to contain. Our match ups are important. If they have a good night, then weâ€™ll be in trouble,â€ CSU coach Kristen Holt said.
CSU puts a star on this date at the beginning of the season and will use it as a gauge to see where itâ€™s at this point in the year. With wins over Denver and Northern Colorado, a victory over CU for the Rams will solidify them as the best team in the state.
â€œEvery game matters, but this is one of the big ones,â€ Barbee said.
Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. at the Coors Event Center and will be followed by the menâ€™s game. The women want to give the boys momentum for their game, and if they play how theyâ€™re capable of, CSU expects to win.
â€œNo excuses, we have to play CSU basketball and go out and get it,â€ Simmons said.
Womenâ€™s basketball Beat Reporter David de Besche can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.