he road doesnâ€™t get any easier for the CSU Womenâ€™s basketball team, as it takes them to Colorado Springs tonight to duel with Air Force.
Even though the Falcons have only won six games this season, CSU head coach Kristen Holt insists they are a dangerous team.
â€œItâ€™s just their mentality, they never quit,â€ she said. â€œI think theyâ€™ve got ballplayers that do a good job of penetrating, and they keep their dribble until they know where theyâ€™re gonna go with it.â€
The Rams have defeated Air Force in four straight games, but the Ramâ€™s last visit to Colorado Springs came down to making free throws at the end of the game.
â€œThe coaches tell us every single time we have to be ready because Air Force is not an easy game,â€ said junior guard Kim Mestdagh.
Mestdagh scored 20 points in CSUâ€™s last visit to Clune Arena and averages nearly 13 points per game in that building.
CSU enters the game tonight on the heels of a tough loss to BYU and is looking to bounce back.
â€œItâ€™s a really important game for us because itâ€™s a game that if we get this one, we can come home,â€ Holt said.
The Rams are 8-2 inside Moby Arena this season, and continuing to play well at home can only improve their conference standing as the Mountain West Conference Championships loom in the distance.
The Rams play six of their next games in Moby Arena, so building up momentum therein is crucial for the stretch run.
Air Forceâ€™s rock is senior guard Raimee Beck, who averages 12.3 points and 2.6 assists â€“â€“ statistics that rank in the top 10 in the MWC. Beck has scored in double digits in five out of her six games against the Rams, averaging 10.8 points per contest.
CSU needs to defend Beck by â€œ(limiting) her catches and when she does catch the ball, make her life unbearable,â€ according to sophomore guard Chantel Kennedy.
She isnâ€™t, however, running a one-woman show as in recent years.
Sophomore forwards Dymond James and Kelsey Berger are both averaging nearly double figures in Beckâ€™s support.
â€œTheyâ€™ve got a lot of components this year,â€ Holt said. â€œ(Beckâ€™s) kind of in the flow with a couple of other players, and I think any time you add more players to the mix who are potential scorers or rebounders, it makes it harder (to win).â€
A win would put the Rams at .500 in the conference season, good for a tie for fourth place in the MWC.
â€œEvery game is important,â€ Kennedy said. â€œWe just have to go in there ready to play, being focused and aggressive from the jump.â€
Womenâ€™s basketball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.