Mar 012011
Authors: Kyle Grabowski

It has been a long season for the CSU women’s basketball team on the road.

The Rams play their last game away from home tonight at Utah, having lost nine of 13 road games this season. Despite the road woes, the team is looking for a strong finish.

“There’s a lot on the line,” head coach Kristen Holt said. “We’re trying to jockey for fourth place (in the Mountain West Conference).”

“It’s exciting,” he said. “I can’t remember being this excited for the last few games of the regular season in a long time.”

Utah has lost four of its last five games, but did manage to defeat New Mexico 61-58 in Salt Lake City.

“We know we have to come out and be ready because they’re not an easy team, and we have to make sure defensively we’re very tuned in to what we have to do to stop them,” senior guard Bonnie Barbee said.

Utes sophomore Iwalani Rodrigues leads the conference in three-point field goals made per game and is seventh in the MWC in scoring at 14.5 points per game.

Currently, CSU is tied with Utah and San Diego State — the two teams it plays this week — for fourth place in the conference standings. Finishing in fourth would allow the Rams to avoid one of the conference’s top-three teams (BYU, TCU, Wyoming) in the first round.

“It’s very important because fourth place in conference is a good accomplishment for our team, we’d like to get even higher if we could,” Barbee said.

CSU won the first matchup between the teams this season, 53-48, in Fort Collins, overcoming an 11-point halftime deficit.

“I think we feel like we’re playing better than we were at that point in the season,” Holt said. “I didn’t think either team played that well when we played last time, so I think it’ll be a high-energy game.”

Tonight’s game will be CSU’s last trip to Utah for the foreseeable future with the Utes leaving the Mountain West Conference following this season.

“It’s definitely a really good school that we’re going to miss in our conference,” junior guard Kim Mestdagh said. “We’ll try to make the best of it and get a win.”

Women’s basketball Beat Reporter Kevin Lytle can be reached at

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