After a big road trip in which they beat BYU and the University of Utah, the CSU women’s basketball team is 13-3 and 2-0 in conference play. The team has maintained its Top 25 national ranking for most of the year and is currently No. 23.
The two wins in Utah marked the first time that CSU has swept BYU and Utah on the road in the same season. CSU has split the two games or lost both games, but not until this year had they won both games.
The win in Utah by the score of 87-77 came in triple overtime. CSU managed to win despite shooting 37 percent from the field, including 8 of 32 from three-point range.
“This was a huge win for us,” CSU head coach Tom Cullen said. “To start conference play 2-0 is huge in this league. This is the first triple overtime game I’ve ever coached, and it was very exciting.”
With five three-pointers against BYU, junior forward Ashley Augspurger became the sixth CSU player to reach 100 threes in a career.
Teammate Elizabeth English has also accomplished the feat with 112 three-pointers. Both players are far from the school record, however, which is held by Becky Hammon with 365.
CSU lost for the first time at home when Marquette came out of Moby with a 56-52 victory on Jan. 2. The Rams are 8-1 at home, 3-1 on the road, and 2-1 at neutral sites.
CSU is 9-0 this season when scoring 80 points, and is 59-1 under Tom Cullen when reaching that score.
On the injury front, the most severe injury came against Xavier University when starting point guard Elizabeth English tore the ACL in her right knee.
The injury will cost her the rest of her junior year, and is compounded by the chronic pain in freshmen point guard Vanessa Espinoza’s shins.
This leaves sophomore Jasai Ferrucho as the only healthy point guard on the roster.
Junior forward Shannon Strecker left the BYU game early with a shoulder injury, but is expected back as early as Thursday against San Diego State.
With increased minutes due to the English injury, Ferrucho scored a career-high 16 points and added a career-high six assists against BYU.
Augspurger is leading the team in scoring with 14.6 points per game, and senior guard Angie Gorton is close behind with 14.3 points. The offense is well balanced with three other players averaging at least eight points a game.
CSU plays San Diego State on Thursday at Moby Arena. It will be the 21st time the teams have played, with San Diego State controlling the series 15-5.
CSU won last year, 81-67 at home, and the Aztecs are 1-4 on the road thus far this season. n