For the sixth consecutive year, the CSU women’s basketball team was victorious in the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational, beating Xavier 68-64 in the championship game on Saturday.
The Rams improved to 3-1 on the season in front of the 2,641 fans in attendance. Senior forward Lisa Narkiewicz was named MVP of the tournament after scoring 10 points and leading the team with six rebounds against Xavier. Narkiewicz had 24 points and 13 rebounds in the two games of the tournament.
The bench players came through for CSU scoring 18 points in the championship-game victory.
“I’m a big proponent of bench play,” first-year CSU head coach Chris Denker said. “I really think one of the strengths of this team is our depth.”
The Rams’ coach was also happy with the defensive play of his bench players.
“Vanessa Espinoza played really well the last two nights,” Denker said. “Her defense was outstanding on the two guards, as was Jasai’s (Ferrucho). They both put a lot of pressure on their guards.”
Senior forward Ashley Augspurger was one of three players with double digit point totals and led the team in scoring with 16 points. Junior forward Joy Jenkins joined her and Narkiewicz with 10 points. Senior guard Elizabeth English led the team with five assists and two steals against the Xavier Musketeers.
Leading the Musketeers in scoring with 18 points was senior guard Amy Waugh.
The tournament consisted of four teams playing over the span of two days at Moby Arena for the chance to be crowned champions. Davidson and Louisiana-Monroe were the other two teams that participated.
The Rams beat Davidson 70-58 on Friday to advance to the championship match.
Augspurger led the team in scoring that night with 17 points to put her at No. 10 on the CSU career scoring leader board. Augspurger’s career total points increased to 1,104 after the tournament.
The Rams were 0-10 in three-point attempts in the first half and made only three of their seven long-range shots in the second half, good for a miserable 17.6 percent from behind the arc.
“Even thought the second half was better than the first, I still wasn’t very thrilled with the way we played,” Denker said.
The Rams looked to their bench for inspiration and got it.
“We went to the bench in the first half,” Denker said. “There was not a whole lot of emotion or energy coming from the starters.”
Junior guard Ferrucho answered the call, scoring 10 points to lead the CSU bench players.
Davidson went on to defeat Louisiana-Monroe 71-59 in the consolation game.
The Rams return to action on Wednesday against Metro State in a 7 p.m. game at Moby Arena.