Oct. 27, 2013
Colorado State (0-0) hosts its exhibition opener Monday vs. Colorado School of Mines. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. MT at Moby Arena (8,745).
Dawning a whole new look this season, Head Coach Ryun Williams and the Colorado State women's basketball team have hopes of becoming a top competitor in the Mountain West as Williams begins his second season with the Rams.
This is the second consecutive year CSU and Colorado Mines will meet during the preseason. The contest on Monday will be the first for both teams. Mines ended the 2012-13 season with a 15-14 record overall and was 12-10 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The Orediggers finished in seventh place.
The Orediggers will be one of two preseason games for the Rams. The team will welcome another RMAC opponent, Black Hills State, to Moby on Friday. The regular season begins Nov. 8 with a men's and women's basketball double-header vs. UCCS.
The game will be broadcast live on AM 1410 KIIX. Matt Wozniak, now in his fifth season with the Rams, calls all the action. Live game video will also be available via the Rams Digital Network at CSURams.com/videos.
About the School of Mines
- The Orediggers are under the direction of head coach Brittany Simpson, beginning her second season.
- Mines returns four starters and seven letterwinners overall, losing five players from the 2012-13 season.
- Among the returners are second-team all-conference players Taylor Helbig and Allie Grazulis. They each started every game last season, averaging over 10 points per contest. Both were named to the preseason all-RMAC team.
- Colorado Mines is predicted to finish eighth in the 14-team Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Last time they met
The Colorado State women's basketball team began their season with a 61-48 exhibition victory over the Colorado School of Mines at Moby Arena on Nov. 1, 2012.
Junior Sam Martin led the team with 16 points. Martin and freshman Taylor Varsho tallied 11 rebounds during the game, with junior Hayley Thompson, senior Meghan Heimstra, and sophomore Ladeyah Forte followed with three rebounds apiece.
Martin enters the season as a two time all-conference selection. With 16 points and 11 rebounds, Sam Martin recorded a double-double.
Forte recorded 10 assists against the Orediggers tying with her career high against Tulsa last year.
Defensively the Rams allowed the Orediggers to shoot with just 28.1 percent accuracy in field goals.
The Orediggers got the better of the Rams on the glass, out-rebounding them 51-39.
Sam Martin who received second-team all-conference honors returns for her senior season. Martin is the second player in program history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks before her senior campaign and is ranked in the MW in eight statistical categories. The 6-2 forward started and played in all 30 games during her junior season, ending the season averaging 12.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game.
Sophomore Caitlin Duffy returns for the Rams after earning all-MW honorable mention honors her rookie season. The 5-11 guard ranked in the MW in four statistical categories: 18th in scoring, second in free-throw percentage (.808), ninth in three-point percentage, and seventh in three-pointers made (1.6) Duffy started in 23 of 27 games played, after nursing an early season wrist injury. Duffy scored double figures in 15 games, averaging 10.5 points, 3.8 rebounds per game, as well as averaging a .350 three-point percentage.
Also returning for the Rams are seniors Hayley Thompson and Alicia Nichols. Thompson started in 23 of 28 games played for CSU, including 16 starts. She ranked 14th in the MW in defensive rebounds, averaging 3.8 per game. Nichols earned a scholarship after last year's campaign. She played in all 30 games for the Rams in 2012-13, starting 12 contests. The 6-0 forward shot a .432 percentage from the field, ranking second on the team and scored double figures in seven games.
Junior Kara Spotton started in five of 26 games played for the Rams, scoring double figures in four games, and she averaged 5.0 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Sophomore Emily Johnson saw action in 25 of the 30 games her rookie season, averaging 1.4 points and 1.2 rebounds per contest. Sophomore Hanne Mestdagh will return for the Rams after suffering a knee injury in the previous season.
Williams will look to the newcomers for talent and dedication to help improve the program's record. Freshman Elin Gustavsson, a 6-3 forward, was a member of the Sallen club team, leading the team with a .478 field-goal percentage. Ellen Nystrom, a freshman from Lulea, Sweden, averaged 7.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 2.3 steals per game in her prior season.
Junior transfer Gritt Ryder will add depth to the guard position, averaging 13.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 3.3 steals per game during her previous season with Western Nebraska. Additionally, junior transfer AJ Newton comes to the Rams after earning MVP in the Coast Conference, first team all-conference, first-team all-state JCs, and she averaged 20.7 points per game for Foothill College.
Fans may recognize another familar face on the court Monday evening. Sam Martin's sister Courtney Martin is entering her sophomore season at Colorado School of Mines. The forward also attended Chaparral High School in Parker, Colo. The tallest player on the team at 6 feet, 2 inches, Martin will dawn No. 31 for the Orediggers.
Fans will have ample opportunity to get to know the newcomers with five home games over the next three weeks. CSU will then leave the homestead for the remainder of November, traveling to Illinois State and then Hawai'i for the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown. The Rams will return to Moby Dec. 5 for a rematch vs. Loyola Marymount.
Colorado State's 2013-14 schedule features three teams that finished last year's campaign receiving votes in the national polls. Up first for the Rams is in-state rival Colorado on Nov. 12. The Buffaloes suffered an early exit from last year's NCAA tournament, falling to 12th seeded Kansas on their home court.
The team's next challenge will be on a neutral court in Hawai'i when the Rams face Chattanooga on Dec. 1. The Southern Conference champions finished last season with a 29-4 record, and were defeated by Nebraska in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
CSU's other two opponents at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown opponents, Hawai'i and Minnesota also played in the postseason in the WNIT. Both teams lost in the first round.
The Rams are looking to disrupt the Mountain West standings come January, when Colorado State begins conference play on Jan. 2 at San Diego State. The regular-season champions advanced to the second round of the WNIT during the 2012-13 campaign.
CSU will travel to 2013 Mountain West tournament champions and preseason favorite Fresno State, on Jan. 11. Fresno State was the lone team in the MW to advance to the NCAA tournament last season, falling in the first round to Final Four team, California.
Martin with exclusive company
At the midpoint of last season Sam Martin reached elite status, entering the top 20 in scoring at CSU. With 1,166 points to date, the Colorado native is ranked No. 15. Seventeen Ram greats have reached 1,000 points in their careers at Colorado State, since the program began in 1974.
The Parker native also registered her 500th career rebound and her 100th career block last year. She became just the second player in CSU women's basketball history to reach 1,000 points, 500 boards and 100 denials before her senior year. The only other player to accomplish such a feat was CSU Hall of Fame member, Teresa James, who reached the goal 19 years ago during the 1994-95 season.
The Rams will have all of their home contests and all Mountain West games streamed live on CSURams.com/videos this season for free.
Colorado State has one more tune-up before the regular season begins on Friday vs. Black Hills State. Tipoff vs. the Yellow Jackets is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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