After its fourth loss of the season put a damper on the end of Thanksgiving break last weekend, the CSU women’s basketball team is hoping to gain some momentum with a win over in-state rival Denver University tonight in Moby Arena.
Last Saturday night the Rams had control over Murray State only to see their lead go away as the Racers went on a 21-6 run in the final 10 minutes to pull off the victory.
“We had poor shot selection in the last 10 minutes and we were forcing things up,” said senior captain Kandy Beemer.
The Rams defense allowed Amber Guffey to score 36 points, 21 of which came in the first half.
“We have to learn how to defend the ball better and help better,” said Beemer. “We fouled a lot too.”
Currently the Rams sit 1-4 on the season and are hoping to turn things around against the University of Denver, which has also won only one game under its first-year head coach Erik Johnson.
Both teams also enter tonight’s game on a two-game losing streak, after Denver defeated UC-Davis but fell to Nebraska and Creighton last week.
However, picking up a win over Denver will not be an easy task, as they seem to have the Rams’ number, defeating CSU in the last two meetings, negating an 11-game consecutive winning streak by the Rams from 1980-2005.
Saturday night, freshman and Belgium native Kim Mestdagh received her first start of the year for the injured Juanise Cornell. Mestdagh had a great night, tying Bonnie Barbee, who has been one of the Rams’ leading scorers, with 12 points for the night.
Cornell, who has been the Rams defensive ace this year, will be back on the court tonight against the Pioneers trying to reach the 500 career point mark. Currently Cornell has 481 career points.
“I was in bed listing to the game on the radio,” said Cornell. “It is not fun lying there knowing your team needs you.”
Meghan Heimstra helped the Rams on defense last weekend by compiling nine points, a career best, and five rebounds, which impressed head coach Kristen Holt.
“Megan did a really nice job of being active, she just made things happen and that’s what we need,” said Coach Holt after Saturday night’s game.
The Rams are still experiencing fouling woes, giving their opponents a chance to win the game from the line. CSU sent Murray State to the free throw line 25 times, 22 of which were made, while also turning over the ball 16 times.
This week the Rams have been working on screening during practice and shot selecting by watching film of their previous games.
“Hopefully it will transpire into something great on Wednesday,” said Cornell. “It’s offense we need to continue to work on.”
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Moby Arena.
Women’s basketball beat writer Justin Warren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.