The men took care of business Wednesday in their exhibition game and tonight the CSU womenâ€™s basketball team will take to the court to repeat the results. The Rams host Colorado Christian University in an exhibition game at Moby Arena to tipoff the 2010-11 campaign.
Coming off of a 13-17 season last year and an eighth-place finish in the Mountain West Conference, the Rams added depth and size to make a faster and more talented team this year that will be looking to break into the upper half of the conference.
â€œWeâ€™re a bigger, faster team, have a lot more numbers and execute better than last yearâ€™s team,â€ junior guard Kim Mestdagh said.
Chemistry, which is a focus of the team, will be a focal point for this yearâ€™s squad that returns all but one letter-winner, and brought in a number of new faces that will look to contribute from the very beginning.
With a group that is as tight as coach Kristen Holt has seen in her three years at the reigns of the program, the girls are close both on and off the court.
â€œWe get along real well off of the court, and that makes all the difference on the court,â€ freshman forward Sam Martin said.
On the court, the Rams will try to play a very fast-paced game, especially in transition situations where they can use their team speed as an advantage. Turnovers plagued CSU last year, and that is an area that has been stressed as something that needs to be fixed in order to win games this year.
â€œWe have had the problem of turning the ball over, we need to take care of the ball and have possessions,â€ Holt said.
While CSU will have 2009-10â€™s MWC leading scorer on the floor tonight in Mestdagh, the Rams will be far from full strength due to injuries and transfer regulations.
Last yearâ€™s leading rebounder, junior Meghan Heimstra, is being redshirted this year due to a hip injury, team captain senior Sara Hemmings will be out with a leg injury until at least Thanksgiving and junior Kelly Hartig, who transferred from Virginia, will not be eligible to play until Dec. 20 against South Dakota.
For tonightâ€™s game, Holt will be spreading out playing time so she can see everybody in a real life game situation and get them on film for some critiquing next week.
A lot of eyes will be on Martin tonight as she makes her collegiate debut. She is expected to start for CSU and be a strong presence in the post for the Rams.
â€œShe is a really solid player, ready mentally, and I hope she hits the ground running, she is going to play a lot minutes for us.â€ Holt said.
Tipoff at Moby Arena is set for 7 p.m.
â€œOur energy has been good, itâ€™s here and weâ€™re ready to go.â€ Martin said.
Sports reporter David de Besche can be reached at email@example.com.