March 18, 2014
Colorado State vs. Southern Utah | Game 33 | WNIT Round 1
March 20 | 7 p.m. MT | Fort Collins, Colo. | Moby Arena (8,745)
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||SOUTHERN UTAH THUNDERBIRDS|
Colorado State (25-7) will play Southern Utah (22-9) in the First Round of the 2014 Women's National Invitation Tournament. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT at Moby Arena (8,745).
For an in-depth look at the Rams' history in the Mountain West tournament, as well as analysis of CSU's path to the championship, refer to Colorado State's Tournament Notes.
With an 11-19 record last year, the Rams have made the biggest one-year turnaround in program history, and secured their first 20-win campaign in 11 years under Head Coach Ryun Williams, now in his second season. The team has reached its best record in 14 years, winning 21 of its last 24, and the Rams are looking to make a run in their first postseason berth since 2004.
The game will be broadcast live on AM 1410 KIIX or KIIXCountry.com. Matt Wozniak, now in his fifth season with the Rams, calls all the action. Live game video will also be available via the Mountain West Network at CSURams.com/videos.
About Southern Utah
- In the midst of its most successful season in program history, this is Southern Utah's first Division-I postseason appearance. SUU was originally picked in the Big Sky preseason polls to finish sixth out of 11 teams.
- The Thunderbirds won their last five games to close our the regular-season earning a share of the Big Sky championship with North Dakota.
- The Big Sky honored three SUU players with all-conference accolades this season. Scoring threat Hailey Mandelko was named to the first team averaging 15.8 points and 2.4 three-pointers per game, and and a .378 shooting percentage, ranking among the leaders in the league. Defensive power, Lori Parkinson earned second-team all-Big Sky, averaging 7.8 rebounds per game, while also shooting an impressive .524 percentage from the field. Finally, Andrea Jones took home a share of the sixth player award, coming off the bench to lead the team with 3.8 assists per game, while averaging 8.7 points and a .427 shooting percentage.
- Parkinson and Carli Moreland also average double figures, with 11.9 and 11.0 points per game, respectively. Moreland, a Colorado native, ranks second on the team with 6.9 boards per contest.
- Mandelko was named to the Big Sky all-tournament team despite losing in the semifinal round. She averaged 27.0 points, including a career-high 34 vs. Montana. The team's three-point leader with 70 treys this season, she shot 9-of-18 from three-point range in just two games in the tournament.
- The T-Birds have an advantage over the Rams in points per game (74.7), field-goal percentage (.435) and steals per game (8.6).
Series vs. the Thunderbirds
- Thursday's meeting is the fifth game between the two schools. CSU has the upper hand in the series, with a 3-1 advantage over SUU all-time.
- The Rams are 2-0 vs.Thunderbirds at Moby Arena. Southern Utah last made the trip to Fort Collins on Nov. 20, 1993, falling 78-60.
- Head Coach Ryun Williams is 2-0 in his career vs. SUU. He previously played against them as head coach of South Dakota, when they were both members of the Summit League. SUU joined the Big Sky in 2012.
A win will...
- Be the third time in four trips that Colorado State has advanced past the first round. The Rams made it to the semifinal round in both 2003 and 2000.
- Tie for the second-most wins in a single season in program history, with the 1995-96 squad that went 26-5. The 1998-99 team set the all-time best record with a 33-3 tally.
- Match the third-longest win streak at Moby Arena at 14 games.
- Approach the most home wins since 2002-03, when the Rams went 17-1 at Moby Arena.
If Colorado State were to defeat Southern Utah, the Rams would advance to the Second Round to challenge either Colorado or TCU. Should the Rams host the Second Round, CU is the only team to beat CSU on its home court this year. The Second Round begins Saturday and runs through Tuesday, March 25.
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