This season the CSU women’s basketball team has struggled on the road. And that’s putting it mildly for a team that is 0-3 when playing Mountain West Conference games on the road.
The Rams will have a chance to turn that around when they face San Diego State tonight.
This marks the first time since the 1990-91 season that the Rams have gotten off to such a bad start on the road. They’re 2-3 overall in the conference.
“The one thing I’ve tried to avoid is saying that this is a must-win situation,” first-year head coach Chris Denker said. “But pretty soon we need to start winning games and for us, that’s now.”
The Rams had a rough conference schedule with five of the first seven games coming on the road.
“The good news of that is that five of our last seven are at home,” Denker said.
CSU will have to improve its game on the road if is to have any chance of making the postseason. And Denker insists that is still what the team’s aiming for.
“Our goal is never just to finish strong,” Denker said after an excruciating loss at Wyoming in overtime on Saturday. “We want to make it to the postseason.”
The coach thinks that perhaps the taxing road schedule is beginning to take its toll on his players, and he wants to make sure they are rested for the game against the Aztecs.
“We (took) Tuesday off because we want to make sure the players are fresh for Thursday’s game,” Denker said. “We think it’s simple; it’s going to come down to how well we shoot.”
Denker went on to say that in both of CSU’s non-conference road wins, the entire team was shooting well. He said his team needs to do that again for a victory against the Aztecs.
The players also said this game is very important for the team, both to get them moving up the table and also to raise their morale.
“Any game in conference is very important,” junior guard Jasai Ferrucho said. “This one’s even more so because we need to build our confidence back up.”
San Diego State (7-10, 1-4) has only beaten Air Force in the Mountain West this season, a team that the Rams put away by a 40-point margin. The Aztecs have dropped games against UNLV, Brigham Young, Utah and New Mexico.
SDSU is led by senior Jamey Cox, who is averaging 13.9 points per game this season. Cox has made 50 three-pointers this season compared to the Rams’ Ashley Augspurger, who leads the team with 28.
“(San Diego State) has a really good shooter in Jamey Cox,” Ferrucho said. “But we’re just going to play our game and run our offense.”
The game should see a couple of Rams break some career marks, with Augspurger just one point away from No. 1,300 in her career, and Joy Jenkins just one point away from her 400.
The Rams travel to Las Vegas to play UNLV on Saturday.