Nov. 23, 2005
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Up Next: Colorado State will play South Dakota State and UC-Irvine in the Coors Rocky Mountain Ivitational. The Rams will face South Dakota State on Friday, Nov. 25 at 7:00 p.m. MT and then UC-Irvine on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 5:00 p.m. MT. South Dakota State and UC-Irvine will then battle on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 2:00 p.m. MT. Both of the Colorado State games can be heard on the Colorado State Sports Network. The Friday game will be broadcast on 600 AM KCOL and the Saturday game can be heard on 1410 KIIX. Brian Roth will serve as the play-by-play announcer and Corbu Stathes will be the color analyst for the broadcast.
Rams Open Season 1-0: The Colorado State women's basketball team defeated Concordia-St. Paul on Nov. 22 to open the season 1-0. Casie Shepherd, Molly Nohr and Vanessa Espinoza all had 14 points and Melissa Dennett had 10 rebounds.
Opening With A Win: Jen Warden continued the trend on a first year coach winning his/her debut game. Both Tom Collen and Chris Denker won their openers. The last coach to lose the first game of his Colorado State career was Greg Williams in 1990. Williams suffered a loss at Weber State 57-75.
Dishing It Out: Two Rams set career-highs in assists in the season opener. Melissa Dennett handed out six assists and Molly Nohr dished out seven.
Bench Scoring: Colorado State scored 24 bench points in the season opener while allowing none from Concordia's bench.
Take Care Of The Ball: Colorado State finished the game with Concordia with 21 assists and only 16 turnovers. In only six of the Rams' 28 games last season did Colorado State finish the game with more assists than turnovers.
Leading Scorer's: The Rams had three players tie for the high point total against Concordia (Vanessa Espinoza, Molly Nohr and Casie Shepherd). Last season Colorado State only had one of four players lead the team in scoring in any game (Lindsay Thomas, Melissa Dennett, Sara Hunter and Vanessa Espinoza).
Finding The Range: Molly Nohr set a career-high in scoring vs. Concordia with 14 points. She previously had only reached double-figures once in her career when she scored 10 against Utah alst season.
Century Mark: Two Rams are approaching their 100th game played at Colorado State. Vanessa Espinoza has played in 96 contests for the Rams and Lindsay Thomas has seen action in 92 games.
3K: Never in the history of Colorado State women's basketball has one team had three 1,000 point scorers. Melissa Dennett (797), Lindsay Thomas (906) and Vanessa Espinoza (798) all are poised to break the 1,000 point barrier in thier senior seasons.
On The Hunt(er): Last season Sara Hunter canned the second most three-point shots (47) in Colorado State history by a freshman. The only player to crank up more three's and make them in her first season was Becky Hammon with 88. This season Hunter has already fired up six attempts.
Canned Food Drive: Colorado State will be offerring discounted tickets to men's and women's basketball games with the donation of canned food. On Dec. 3 the men's basketball team will face IUPUI at 7 p.m. MT and on Dec. 4 the women's basketball team will take on Portland at 2 p.m. MT. Anyone who brings in two canned items will receive a discounted ticket to the game. Fans taking advantage of this promotion and attending the men's game will receive $6 admission ($4 off regular price) and those attending the women's game will receive admission for $4 ($2 off regular price). The offer is valid only at the door on the day of the game. All donation will go to the Fort Collins Food Bank.
Home is Where the Crowd is: The Colorado State women's basketball team kicks off its season with five consecutive home games. The last time this happened was during the 2002-03 season where the Rams won five out of their six opening home gams. Colorado State is 1-0 this season.
Fan Support: Colorado State has had at least 1,000 fans attend each of the last 148 home games. The last time the Rams played at home in front of fewer than 1,000 fans was Jan. 5, 1996 when Colorado State faced Idaho State.
Third Time is the Charm: For the third consecutive year, the Colorado State women's basketball team is returning the same three starters; Melissa Dennett, Vanessa Espinoza and Lindsay Thomas. The last time this happened was in 1998 when the Rams returned Katie Cronin, Becky Hammon and Zenarae Pieters. These returners led the Rams to an impressive 24-6 record.
Missing the Mark: The last time no Rams reached double figures in scoring was during the 2000-01 season. On March 10, 2001 no player reached double figures in a game against Brigham Young. The Rams won that Mountain West Conference Tournament game 59-56. Colorado State had five players reach double figures in the season opener.
Dennett Scoring First: The Rams were 8-4 a season ago in games that Melissa Dennett scored the first points for Colorado State. Colorado State was 7-9 when any player other than Dennett tallied the first points for the Rams.
Records Fall in 2004-05: This year's team continuously moved up the records list in a number of catagories. As a team, the Rams compiled a .330 shooting percentage from behind the arc, hitting 139 of 421 attempts. This ranks 10th all-time. On the defensive side Colorado State held opponents to just .300 from three-point range, third best all-time. This season the team pulled down 376 boards, the fourth best in school history and also blocked 109 shots. The team's 109 blocked shots was just two away from the school record set in the 1999-2000 season.
Century Mark: Vanessa Espinoza is only one three-point basket shy of becoming the tenth player in Colorado State history to drain 100 treys in her career.
Hunter Scoring: Sara Hunter finished her freshman season by scoring above her season average in eleven of her last 12 games. Over that span she has dished out 38 assists compared to 30 turnovers. Also during that stretch, Hunter scored a career-high 17 points vs. New Mexico which she then bested in the opening round of the MWC tournament with 25 points, including 7-of-10 from three-point range. Hunter's seven threes was just one behind the single game record. Becky Hammon currently holds the record of eight, a feat she accomplished twice. Hunter also finished her freshman campaign with 47 made three-point baskets, second best ever by a freshmam behind Becky Hammon who had 88.
Scoring Streak Snapped: Vanessa Espinoza had a 53-game scoring streak snapped on March 5, 2005 vs. Air Force. Espinoza was held scoreless against the Falcons and was limited to one point vs. New Mexico. Lindsay Thomas has the longest active scoring streak for the Rams. She has scored at least one point in 89 straight games for the Rams. In fact, the only game of her career that Thomas did not score in was her second game vs. USC on Nov. 17, 2002. The next closest scoring streak is 60 by Melissa Dennett
Four Sign With Warden: Colorado State Head Women's Basketball Coach Jen Warden announced four players have signed National Letters of Intent to play for Colorado State next season. Colorado high school standout Raysha Ritter will join the Rams for the 2006-07 campaign as well as Lindsay Laur and Emily Neal both hale from Minnesota. Juanise Cornell from Azusa, Calif. rounds out the signing class.
Juanise Cornell, 5'10", F, Azusa, Calif. - Juanise Cornell is a two-sport athlete (basketball and volleyball), with many honors in both. Her team has won the Del Rey League and CIF Championships the last two years in basketball and last season they took home the state championship and finished with a perfect record of 35-0. In 2004-05 Cornell was named to the first team Del Rey League. She was also CIF Co-Player of the Year out of all women's basketball player in over 540 schools. She was named offensive player of the year in volleyball by her teammates for three years.
Lindsay Laur, 6'0", F, Roseville, Minn. - The 6'0" forward from Minnesota has been highly recruited by teams like Nebraska, Wisconsin, Marquette and Minnesota. She was named to the all-conference team the last two seasons. Last season Laur was also named to the all-section team and the all-state team. She has also been named team MVP.
Emily Neal, 5'9, G, Minneapolis, Minn. - Two times Neal has been named to the all-conference team. The basketball and soccer team captain has won three conference championships in basketball. She was the starting point guard on the state championship team her sophomore season. Neal has been on the Headmaster's List every year of her high school career. The Headmaster's List is for students with a GPA higher than a 3.7. She has also volunteered for the Special Olympics the past two years. Neal was recruited by Boston College, Northwestern and Princeton in addition to Colorado State.
Raysha Ritter, 6'3", C, Grand Junction, Colo. - This 6'3" post player has been first team all-conference all three years she has played and was second team all-state her junior year. Along with the all-state honors, she was named Southwestern League Player of the Year, and was named an Adidas Top 10 All-American. Colorado State was chosen by Ritter over Texas Tech, Penn State, Colorado and Illinois. Currently, Ritter is only a few points shy of first all-time on the scoring list at her school, a record she is projected to hold by season's end.