Nov 302003
Authors: Katrice Thomas

While the CSU student body was enjoying a Thanksgiving feast and

a needed break from school, the women’s basketball team was working

hard and winning games. The Rams won their first three matches

against Texas Southern (85-51), Stephen F. Austin (72-57) and Long

Beach State (67-49), before dropping one to Boston College (79-61).

The stretch of holiday games began Nov. 21 with Texas Southern

visiting Moby Arena.

“Overall, it was a pretty good effort tonight,” head coach Chris

Denker said of the team’s 34-point victory.

“We came out a bit sluggish in the beginning, but if our defense

has energy, then we are going to be fine.”

Judging by the score, the Rams were more than fine in this


“I was encouraged by tonight,” said Melissa Dennett who had a

game-high 20 points. “We have a young team but we’re playing


In case the beating of the undersized Tigers from Texas Southern

wasn’t enough, the Rams took a road trip on Monday to Nacogdoches,

Texas, and served a pre-Thanksgiving loss to Stephen F. Austin.

Colorado State out rebounded the Lady Jacks 55-26 and had four

players score in double figures. Lindsay Thomas led the team with

17 points, Vanessa Espinoza and Jasai Ferrucho each had 14. And Joy

Jenkins posted her first career double-double with 11 points and 10


The feast came later in the week at the Coors Rocky Mountain

Invitational. The Rams dropped Long Beach State 67-49 in the first

round on Friday night, which gave CSU a 3-0 start on the season and

an invitation to meet Boston College in the championship game. All

five starters for the Rams scored in double figures.

“I’m pretty pleased with the way we played,” Denker said. “Once

we settled down, the team focused better. It was nice to see the

team playing defense like they did.”

The Rams would have to bring that same defensive focus on

Saturday night in order to beat Boston College. Last season the

Eagles beat the Rams 75-60. Both teams knew they were in for a

tough match.

“We knew this was going to be a tough environment to play in,”

Boston College head coach Cathy Inglese said.

The Eagles got off to a good start as Lissa Mascchia of Boston

College scored the first points of the game. She tallied 17 points,

and her team went on to hand CSU its first loss of the season.

“I think the team was pretty gunned up for the game,” Denker

said, “but it was kind of a wild intensity.”

CSU was forced into 12 turnovers and was out-rebounded 15-11 in

the first half.

“It’s been the story of our life so far this season,” said guard

Jasai Ferrucho who had 10 points. “We play horrible in the first

half and have to try to battle back in the second half. Against a

good team like Boston College, you can’t do that.”

Starting at point guard Vanessa Espinoza led the Rams in scoring

with a career-high 16 points. Espinoza and Dennett (who had 13

points) were named to the all-tournament team. Others making the

all-tournament team were Alabama freshman Navonda Moore, Amber

Jacobs from Boston College (who had a game-high 22 points in the

Eagles’ win over the Rams) and teammate and tournament MVP Jessalyn

Denveny who chipped in 20 points.

“I wish we could say we did a good job defensively on them and

they still beat us,” Denker said, “but we didn’t defend like we

needed to.”

The Rams will have a few more days to figure out what they need

to do before they face No. 20 Colorado on Wednesday. Tip-off is set

for 7 p.m. at Moby Arena.

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