Tonight the CSU women’s basketball team (7-12, 2-4 MWC) will take on the New Mexico Lobos (15-3, 3-1 MWC) in their second consecutive home game in Moby Arena.
“It will defiantly be a challenge. We have had stretches like Utah and we had a stretch against Wyoming where we just were not there and not focused,” head coach Kristen Holt said. “Against good teams you just cannot do that. You will put yourself too deep and in a position where you cannot come back.”
New Mexico comes into Moby following a disappointing loss to San Diego State last Wednesday, which dropped the Lobos out off the national rankings. However, New Mexico rebounded Sunday afternoon with a win against BYU.
“I think if we can be mentally focused and give effort for 40 minutes, then we are going to scrap and claw. If they (New Mexico) shoot the lights out and we have done everything we can do, then you cannot ask for more,” coach Holt said.
New Mexico has won 12 out of their last 14 games, and the Lobos currently sit second in the MWC behind Utah, who has yet to lose a conference game.
The Lobos hold a slight all-time winning advantage (30-27) over CSU, and New Mexico is currently on a 10-game winning streak against the Rams. The last victory for CSU against the Lobos came in February of 2004.
The Rams are looking to break that streak and win their third MWC matchup of the season against one of the favorites to take the 2009 MWC Championship.
“This game we need to focus on not giving up threes and play defense,” sophomore guard Zoi Simmons said. “I think we can stop them, we are just going to have to focus.”
The Rams are coming off a disappointing loss against Mountain West Conference rival Wyoming.
CSU attempted a late, 14-point comeback against the Cowgirls, which would have been the biggest comeback in school history, but fell short with a missed layup at the one second mark.
However, even with the close loss to Wyoming, CSU gained confidence that they can post a comeback attempt if needed.
For the Rams, Britney Minor, Juanise Cornell, Kandy Beemer, Zoi Simmons, and freshman Meghan Heimstra, will get the start Wednesday from coach Holt.
Minor led the Rams in scoring with 21 points last game against Wyoming while going nine for nine from the free-throw line. This season Minor has attempted 90 free throws, and is currently 76 percent from the line.
“I hate missing free throws. Making free throws is something I have to do,” Minor said.
Cornell had her second straight double-double game last Saturday, scoring 19 points while pulling down 12 rebounds.
Beemer leads the Rams in scoring this season with a total of 157 points, most of which come from her three-point shooting.
“We need to get up and down the court. We are going to look for shots quick, which is why I have a smaller line up in there for the start,” coach Holt said.
Tipoff is set for 7 p. m. in Moby Area.
Women’s basketball beat writer Justin Warren can be reached at email@example.com.