Nov 292004
Authors: Bob Fernandez

The CSU women's basketball team hopes to make a big splash tonight when it takes on the Pepperdine Waves at Moby Arena.

The Rams are fresh off an 82-57 win over Alabama-Birmingham Saturday. The win earned CSU a first-place finish at the two-day long Rocky Mountain Invitational tournament at Moby Arena.

Through the first four games of the season, the Rams have posted a 3-1 record and have averaged 77 points per game, making them the highest scoring team in the Mountain West Conference. They have also held their opponents to an average of 62 points per game, good enough for fourth in the MWC.

Although the Rams offense has looked crisp and the defense has been solid, the team still has room for improvement, said junior forward Melissa Dennett, who had 25 points and a career-high 15 rebounds against UAB on Saturday.

"I think we need to work on our defense a little more and rebounding," Dennett said. "(We also need to) keep running the floor."

Pepperdine enters the game tonight with a 1-3 record. The Waves' lone victory came on Friday when they beat Fullerton State 60-47. The Waves last played on Saturday when they lost to Montana by a score of 61-51. Despite Pepperdine's losing record, CSU head coach Chris Denker said the Waves should provide a challenge for CSU.

"Pepperdine is real athletic and very big," Denker said. "They occasionally have a lineup on the floor where they have four kids over 6-(feet)-1-(inch)."

The Waves finished second in the West Coast Conference a year ago and have made the postseason in four of the last five seasons. However, after the first week and a half of this season, Pepperdine is last in the WCC standings and is the conference's lowest scoring team, averaging only 50.5 points per game while giving up 62.7 points per game.

The Rams are 2-2 all-time against Pepperdine and have won the last two meetings between the two teams. The last time the two teams met, CSU came out on top by a score of 82-70.

Junior forward Lindsay Thomas, who had a career-high 20 points and 10 rebounds against UAB on Saturday, said she hopes that the Rams can continue to build on their early season success with a win against Pepperdine. Thomas was also named MWC player of the week.

After losing to Notre Dame on Nov. 22 by a score of 69-47, the Rams went on to beat Iona and UAB by an average of 37 points per game.

"We've played pretty well," Thomas said. "We bounced back pretty well from our game against Notre Dame, and I think if we can just keep it going, that would be great."

Tonight's game against Pepperdine tips off at 7 p.m. at Moby Arena.

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