As the womenâ€™s basketball season goes into its third week, CSU will be looking to get its first road win of the young season tonight against Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont.
The Rams have struggled in their first five games of the year mainly because of turnovers.
On the season, the Rams have averaged 21.2 turnovers per game, a trend that they have been eager to stop.
â€œI think itâ€™s been the big reason why weâ€™ve lost games,â€ CSU coach Kristen Holt said. â€œYou just canâ€™t give up the ball that many times to people and expect to be in games.â€
The Rams had an eight point lead in the second half against the University of Denver last week, but thanks to play Holt called â€œfrantic,â€ the Rams committed some key turnovers, allowing Denver to come back and win.
â€œAs guards we touch the ball a lot, and weâ€™re out on the perimeter a lot,â€ senior Kim Mestdagh said. â€œSo itâ€™s really important that we stay calm and make good decisions, especially with a lead.â€
But despite the turnovers, the Rams have remained competitive in games against quality opponents, including an overtime loss to Arizona State University and a close game with Denver.
The Rams have stayed competitive by shooting 41.8 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from three point range, good for second and first, respectively in the Mountain West.
â€œWe know that Colorado State can get deadly if they have open looks,â€ Montana State coach Tricia Binford said. â€œItâ€™s going to be a big task tomorrow.â€
In addition to shooting well, the Rams have been able to mitigate the effects of their turnovers by out-rebounding their opponents by 3.8 boards per game, but Montana State poses a challenge as its tall backcourt touts three players that average over 5.5 rebounds per game.
â€œThey are very big girls, (but) we just canâ€™t get pushed out,â€ sophomore Sam Martin said. â€œ(We need to) just keep them off the boards, keep them out of getting the lob passes. Just donâ€™t give them any easy shots.â€
One way the Rams will improve defensively in this game will be by getting junior Meghan Heimstra to play more minutes.
Heimstra, the teamâ€™s leading rebounder, has battled an injury and foul trouble this year and was limited to just 20 minutes of play against Denver.
â€œHopefully weâ€™ll get more minutes out of her,â€ Holt said. â€œSheâ€™s had foul trouble this whole year and when Meghanâ€™s played her better games, sheâ€™s brought a lot of energy on the boards and defensively.â€
Womenâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at email@example.com.
Who: CSU vs. Montana State
When: tonight at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Bozeman, Mont.