Mar 032004
 
Authors: Katrice Thomas

Fourscore and 12 conference games ago, Air Force hoped to change

the way people looked at the Falcons basketball franchise. The men

and their high-flying, in-your-face basketball found the perfect

way to start their journey, while the Air Force women are still

trying to find a way.

With the end of the regular season lurking, the Falcons (3-22

overall; 0-12 MWC) are still winless in Mountain West play,

bringing their losing total to 16 consecutive games. But the CSU

women’s basketball team isn’t counting Air Force out, yet.

“They are going to be pretty fired up,” said sophomore point

guard Vanessa Espinoza. “The last time we played them we started

the game 21-0. They are going to come at us with their best. We

can’t expect anything less that that.”

The Falcons record may be deceiving because they can play and

that was on display against San Diego State and conference-leading

Utah.

“San Diego State needed a buzzer beater to beat them this

weekend, and they only lost to Utah by eight” said head coach Chris

Denker.

Letricia Castillo will attempt to lead the Falcons to victory

and break the conference curse. She is the only Falcon averaging

double figures in scoring with 12.2 points per game. Seniors Shawna

Neff and Amoy Jackson are also offensive threats, averaging 9.2 per

game.

In the Feb. 7 game at Moby, Castillo led Air Force with nine

points, and the Rams Lindsay Thomas scored 19. The last time the

Rams (16-9, 7-5) lost to the Falcons was Nov. 27, 1990. But CSU

senior forward Joy Jenkins isn’t worried about the past or about

stats.

“They’ve been playing teams pretty tough,” Jenkins said. “The

stats don’t say anything, especially in our conference. I think

that on any given night any team can beat anyone.”

According to Denker the keys to winning the game are rebounding,

being aggressive on the floor and focusing on playing Ram

basketball.

“They definitely bring that nothing-to-lose attitude.” Jenkins

said. “They’re going to fight for every loose ball, they’re going

to go after every rebound and we’re just going to have to match

their intensity.”

Tip-off for the game is at 7 tonight in Colorado Springs. The

Rams will then head to The Pit on Saturday to play the final game

of the regular season against the second-place New Mexico Lobos

(18-7, 10-2). If the Rams can defeat both the Falcons and the Lobos

they will secure the third seed for the conference tournament. But

before anything can be secured they must deal with the Falcons.

“It’s a game, it’s you against another team, it’s who wants it

more,” said freshman forward Kylee O’Dwyer.

So if the public can’t depend on stats, and it’s about who wants

it more, which team can fans expect to get the win? Without

hesitation O’Dwyer said, “We better win.”

OUTBOX

Font should be ITC Franklin Gothic Book, the who what when and

where are bold. The font size should be 9 or 9.5

What: Mountain West Conference Basketball game

Who: CSU women (16-9, 7-5 Mountain West) at Air Force (3-22,

0-12)

Where: Clune Arena, Colorado Springs

When: 7 tonight

Broadcast: Live Webcast at www.csurams.com, click on yahoosports

logo

Notes: The Rams need a win at Air Force tonight and another

Saturday against New Mexico in Albuquerque to finish the conference

season 9-4 and secure a possible No. 3 seed in the MWC Tournament

March 10-13.

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