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Women's basketball preview: Metro State

Senior guard Sara Hunter

Senior guard Sara Hunter

Oct. 31, 2007

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Haunted House of Hoops
The CSU Women's Basketball team hosts their first home game of the 2007-08 season on Halloween Night, October 31st.  Doors open at 6 pm and the team takes on Metro State at 7 pm.

Young Ram fans will have the opportunity to trick-or-treat and meet student-athletes from various CSU teams before the game on the north concourse of Moby Arena.  After the game, fans are invited to come down to the court for autographs and more trick-or-treating with the Women's Basketball team.

Kids are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes to the game.  All fans (youth & adult) who wear a costume will be admitted to the game for free.

The Matchup
The Colorado State women's basketball team opens exhibition play against Metro State College of Denver of the NCAA Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC). Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. MT from Moby Arena. Colorado State enters the 2007-08 season with four returning players from last season's squad.

Senior guard Sara Hunter, the team's leading scorer, returns for her final season at Moby Arena. Also returning for the Rams are sophomores Juanise Cornell and Emily Neal and senior Kelly Rae Finley.

Cornell saw action as a starter in 28 games for the Rams and turned in one of the finest freshman season in Colorado State history, averaging 7.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest.

Neal played in 23 contests for the Rams, scoring 6.3 points per contest, and closed the season averaging 12.4 points per contest in the final five games.

Finley, who played limited minutes because of a leg injury, contributed 4.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 20 games for the Rams.

Familiar Foe
The Rams and Roadrunners meet for the second time in as many seasons in exhibition play. Last year, Metro State shocked the Rams, leaving Fort Collins with an 84-79 victory, despite a 29-point effort by Colorado State guard Sara Hunter.

All-time, Colorado State leads the regular-season series with Metro State, 3-0. The Rams defeated the Roadrunners twice in Moby Arena and picked up one victory in Denver.

This season, Metro State's bench will have a familiar look for Rams' fans as well. Former Colorado State assistant coach Linda Lappe enters her first season as head coach of the Roadrunners.

Exhibition under Warden
The Colorado State women's basketball team is 3-1 in exhibition play under third-year Head Coach Jen Warden. In her first year, the Rams knocked off Fort Hays State, 74-72, and defeated the Colorado School of Mines, 76-51. Last season, the Rams opened exhibition play with a 72-48 victory over Western State College before falling, 84-79, to Metro State.

Home Sweet Home
Including exhibition play, Colorado State will play seven of its first 11 contests of the season at Moby Arena. In 2006-07, six of the team's eight wins came at Moby Arena. Overall since 1974-75, the Rams hold a record of 285-154 (.649) in Moby Arena. The Rams will play a total of 14 regular-season contests in Moby Arena in 2007-08.

Fan Support
Colorado State has had at least 1,000 fans attend each of the last 175 home contests. The last time that the Rams played in front of fewer than 1,000 fans was Jan. 5, 1996 against Idaho State.

On Pace for 100
Senior guard Sara Hunter is on pace for 100 starts in her career at Colorado State. Entering this season, Hunter has played in 86 career games at Colorado State, starting 75 of those contests. Over the last two seasons, Hunter has started each of the Rams' 58 contests.

Assist-to-Turnover Ratio Key
During the 2006-07 season, the Rams recorded 429 assists, but turned the ball over 452 times. The team notched four contests - at San Francisco, vs. Idaho, vs. San Jose State, and vs. Oklahoma Panhandle State - with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio. In those games, the Rams were 4-0.

Long-Range Rams
The 2006-07 team cracked the Colorado State single-season top 10 in both total 3-pointers made and 3-point field goal attempts, while ranking 12th in a single season in 3-point field goal percentage. Last season, the Rams made 145 of 445 3-point field goal attempts, 32.8 percent.

Double-Digit Performances
Colorado State's four returning players, senior guard Sara Hunter, senior forward Kelly Rae Finley and sophomores Juanise Cornell and Emily Neal, combined to score in double-digits in 33 games.

Hunter led the group with 16 double-digit scoring performances on the season, including 10 of the team's final 11 games.

Finley eclipsed double-digits twice, at New Mexico State and at home against UNLV, turning in 16 and 15 points, respectively. Neal reached double-digits in five contests and heated up late in the year, eclipsing 10 points in three of the team's final five games.

Cornell's 10 double-digit scoring games tied senior center Marilyn Moulton for third on the team. Cornell also recorded eight games with doulbe-digits in rebounding, second on the team only to Moulton.

Magic Number: 60
Last season, the Ramser were just 1-15 when scoring fewer than 60 points in a contest and 7-6 when eclipsing the 60-point plateau.

Looking Ahead
Colorado State continues exhibition play with its final tune-up of the season against the CSU-Pueblo Thunderwolves on Saturday afternoon at Moby Arena. Tipoff for that game is set for 2 p.m. MT.

Head of the Class
As a freshman in 2006-07, forward Juanise Cornell turned in one of the finest rookie campaigns in CSU history. Her 189 rebounds ranks third among freshman in school history, while her 6.8 rebounds per game averages is sixth and her 56 offensive rebounds was just two shy of breaking the freshman record of 57 held by Zenarae Pieters (1994-95) and Teresa James (1992-93). Cornell's 6.8 rebounds per game ranked first among freshman in the Mountain West Conference. Offensively, Cornell also etched her name into the record books. She finished just 44 points shy of cracking the freshman Top-10 at CSU.

 


 

 

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