In every game there is a turning point, a moment that defines the contest, and from that moment on the outcome seems obvious.
In the CSU women’s basketball game against visiting Air Force on Saturday, that moment came two minutes, 28 seconds into the game when Rams’ senior forward Ashley Augspurger sunk a three-pointer to put the Rams ahead 5-3. From that point on, there was no looking back for the recently resurgent Rams. CSU maintained the lead for the rest of the game finishing off the Falcons 89-49.
Augspurger, who moved up to No. 11 on the school list in career rebounds, also grabbed five boards in the game while center Shannon Strecker moved up to No. 14 on the same list with four rebounds on the day.
Augspurger was one of three Rams with double-digit point totals, scoring 18 points to lead the team. Senior forward Katie Borton scored 17 points, which put her over 500 points in her career, and junior forward Joy Jenkins totaled 16.
“Katie was having a little bit of a slump early in the season,” head coach Chris Denker said. “But she played through it and now she’s got her shot back.”
Jenkins, meanwhile, caught the coach’s attention by coming off the bench to make an impressive 7-of-9 shots from the field. She also snagged nine rebounds.
“The look on Joy’s face the last two games has been that of a confident and aggressive player,” Denker said. “When Joy’s like that she’s unstoppable.”
The Falcons turned the ball over 23 times and the Rams punished them almost every time. Only two Rams didn’t get their names on the scoring sheet in a well-rounded effort that saw CSU shoot 55 percent from the field, and 50 percent from behind the arc.
Air Force struggled both offensively and defensively. They were dominated beneath the basket at both ends of the court and were out rebounded 37-31. The one bright spot on an otherwise bleak day for the Falcons was the performance of their 5-foot-4 guard Latoya Howell, who racked up 28 points, seven more than the rest of the team put together.
“We don’t come to a game expecting to lose,” Howell said. “Yeah, we lost by 40 points but we played as a team.”
Next comes the big test for the CSU team. After a couple of big wins at home, the team goes on the road to play border rivals Wyoming on Saturday. Hopefully for CSU, the momentum that the past two games gave them will be enough to take them to a level of play they are yet to show on the road this season.
“It’s time to start going out and winning road games,” Denker said. “I think (the Wyoming fans) will give us a little bit of an edge, especially on defense.”
If the Rams’ level of intensity is half of what it was Saturday, they should have a successful outing next weekend. The key is to make sure that they keep it up for the entire game.
“To be successful against Wyoming we need to play 40 minutes of basketball,” Jenkins said. “We should be fine if we can keep it up for the whole game.”