Nov 052003
Authors: Joelle Milholm

In its first appearance in the 2003-04 basketball season, the

Colorado State women’s basketball team shined in a 84-64

international victory against Sparta Praha of the Czech


“It wasn’t bad for our first game,” CSU head coach Chris Denker

said. “I was really happy with our ability to move the ball.”

Sophomores Vanessa Espinoza and Melissa Dennett led the Rams

with 14 points each. Taking on the starting point guard position,

Espinoza also had five assists and six steals.

The Rams began to break away with eight minutes left in the

first half when they went on a 12-point scoring run to regain the

lead at 27-18. Sparta got into foul trouble early, sending the Rams

into the bonus with 8:35 left in the first half. They went on to

get 11 fouls in the first half and 25 in the game.

CSU capitalized on Sparta’s fouls by making12 of 13 free throws

and took a 40-28 lead into halftime. The Rams started the second

half right where they left off and increased their lead to 25

points with nine minutes left in the second half.

Sparta was heavily plagued by turnovers and lost the ball 29

times, while the Rams only lost possession 16 times. The Rams

caused most of the turnovers by racking up 17 steals.

“There are a lot of things we need to work on, but we limited

our turnovers by only having five in the first half out of 51

possessions,” Espinoza said. “We passed the ball really well, but

we missed a lot of layups and our rebounding wasn’t the best.”

Sophomore forward Melissa Dennett was an animal on the boards,

leading the Rams with 11 rebounds, six of which were offensive.

Sparta out-rebounded the Rams overall by pulling down 55 balls, 12

more than CSU.

“We had thought this was going to be a good rebounding team,”

Denker said. “They out-rebounded us and we need to work on


Milena Steffanova led Sparta in scoring with 16 points and also

grabbed seven rebounds. The Rams out-shot Sparta by hitting 40.3

percent of their shots compared to Sparta’s 33.3 field goal


Senior forward Joy Jenkins came in strong off the bench to add

points and three pointers for the Rams. Jenkins, who according to

Denker would normally start, was cleared to play for the first time

on Wednesday after sitting out eight practices with a


Even though the Rams have a young team, with three sophomores

and one freshman starting, Jenkins is encouraged by the team’s

first showing.

“For an opening game with a lot of young players, we did really





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