Dec 102003
 
Authors: Katrice Thomas

Tonight another in-state rivalry beast will bare its head, and

try to sink its teeth into the Rams. The Rams (3-3) will travel to

the University of Denver (3-1) for a battle for in-state bragging

rights. After starting the season with three straight wins, the

Pioneers suffered an embarrassing 95-61 loss to Idaho State this

past weekend. The loss was the worst defeat for the Pioneers since

2002, when they only scored 29 points to 85 against that season’s

future NCAA Champion, the University of Connecticut.

The Rams started their season in a way similar to the Pioneers.

The Rams jumped on their first three opponents, but have

experienced a slight skid beginning with a loss to Boston College

in the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational Nov. 29 at Moby Arena. The

last game for the Rams was Dec. 6 against the Oregon Ducks. Playing

at the Rose Garden in Portland, the Ducks handed a 50-62 loss to

the Rams. With the fresh taste of defeat in both the Rams’ and the

Pioneers’ mouths, this game should be a dogfight. According to Rams

starting point guard Vanessa Espinoza, Denver is not a team to be

over-looked.

“DU is a pretty decent team, and they are going to be gunning

for us,” Espinoza said. “Plus there is always an added incentive if

they beat the bigger university.”

The pioneers are led by junior guard Tasha Jones and senior

forward Ragan Neblett. As the top two scorers on the team, Jones

and Neblett need to step up the scoring attack tonight in order to

avoid a second straight loss. The last time the teams met the Rams

squeaked away with an 84-83 victory at home.

One of the Rams’ top scorers, center Lindsay Thomas, seems to

have her and her team’s winning strategy memorized.

“This is an in-state rivalry, so we’re going to have to come out

playing hard from the get go,” Thomas said.

“Everyone knows their role,” Espinoza said, “We know that their

won’t be a couple of us carrying the team, everyone has to do their

part. Everyone has to contribute.”

But one thing is certain: tonight two hungry teams, the Rams and

the Pioneers, will tip off at 7 p.m. and fight for a win.

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