CEDAR FALLS, Iowa– With a new look and a clean slate, the CSU women’s basketball team didn’t get the fresh start it wanted to kickoff the 2007-08 season as the Rams dropped their opener to the University of Northern Iowa Panthers Friday night, 75-58.
The first half of the contest showcased the high shooting percentage of the Panthers, who shot 5-8 from beyond the arc and 54 percent from the field. The Rams, in turn, went 2-10 from three and shot only 33 percent.
Going into the half down by 15, the Rams kept pace in the second half, making a surge at the 7:38 minute mark, putting them within eight. Over the next three minutes, though, the Panthers went on a 8-0 run.
Rams guard Sarah Hunter received the green light at the 5:00 mark, scoring 8 of her 10 total points in a four minute stretch, but it would not be enough as UNI continued to pour on the offense, finding outside looks and sending the Rams home unhappy.
When asked about second half effort, coach Jen Warden said, “(Our) team played with toughness, played with grit.”
Despite outstanding efforts from forwards Juanise Cornell and Carine Reimink, who combined for 20 points and 14 rebounds, the Rams lost the battle of the boards and were out- rebounded 36-26.
“We’re gonna have to get out and start games with the same intensity that we finish with,” Cornell said. “We have to go out and beat them in the first half.”
The win was a first for first-year Northern Iowa coach Tanya Warren, while Ram coach Jen Warden experienced her first loss in a season opener since coming to CSU in 2005.
“We are looking forward to our home opener. I think this was a tough test for us to open up on the road, a test that I embrace against another team that is developing and trying to find out who they are, and they just came out with more toughness than us tonight,” Warden said.
CSU will be in action again Tuesday as they host the San Francisco Dons in its home opener at Moby Arena at 7 p.m.
Sports writer Lance Moorman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.