The first round of conference play finishes up tonight as the CSU womenâ€™s basketball team travels to the West Coast to face off against San Diego State.
The Rams (11-9, 4-3) are coming off a huge comeback victory on Saturday over the Utah Utes, 53-48. The victory gave CSU sole possession of 4th place in the Mountain West Conference.
â€œThat was a huge game for us, huge win. We showed some people what weâ€™re about.â€ senior Sara Hemmings said.
The Rams now look to extend their winning streak to three tonight, as they face a reeling Aztecs team (8-11, 2-5) who enter the game conversely riding a three-game losing streak.
The Aztecs have no shortage of talent, starting with sophomore Courtney Clements, the Aztecâ€™s leading scorer at 14.3 points per game (4th in MWC) and who also shoots 41.1 percent from beyond the arc (3rd in MWC). The Rams know the Aztecs are better than their record would suggest and are intent on taking them seriously.
â€œWe are going to have to lock it down on defense. They are going to be a really tough team,â€ Rams freshman Hayley Thompson said.
CSU hasnâ€™t defeated San Diego State since 2007 and trails the all-time series 15-24, including a 4-14 mark in San Diego. Last season, CSU played poorly against the Aztecs, giving up a season high 35 turnovers and losing 59-38.
â€œThis is a really important game. Last year at San Diego State we didnâ€™t have a good game at all. We have some stuff to prove,â€ Hemmings said.Â â€œIt comes down to us believing we can beat that team and going there to their home court means even more.â€
The game plan will likely stay the same for CSU, who typically rely on their energetic defense and presence in the post to give them an advantage over their opponents.
The Aztecs, who have very good size and speed will test the Rams for the full 40 minutes.
â€œWe have to focus on getting back on transition defense and rebounding,â€ Thompson said.
The Rams goal coming into the season was to exceed their win total from last year, and now the teamssits only two victories from achieving that goal. With a history of poor finishes, the team is focusing on ending the season strong before the Mountain West Conference Tournament.
â€œIt comes down to focusing on the team and believing we are where we are for a reason, and that we have every ability to continue that.â€ Hemmings said.
Womenâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter David de Besche can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.