As CSU comes off two wins against the No. 2 and No.3 teams in the Mountain West, the Rams head to Laramie on Saturday to compete in one of their biggest match-ups of the season.
The Rams will face a competitive fifth-conference ranked Wyoming Cowgirl offense. If the rivalry of this match-up wasn’t enough of a premium to place on this game, the fact that the women’s team has not won a border war game since Jan. 21, 2012 ups the ante even more.
“I think we’re going to do our best to approach this like every other game,” guard Caitlin Duffy said. “We don’t want to blow it up into something that it’s not, but we do know that we’re going to go in with a bit of a chip on our shoulder with how last year ended and with it just being Wyoming and it being a rivalry game.”
Last year’s border war resulted in a bitter 65-51 loss to Wyoming and had the Rams shooting 37 percent from the field. Wyoming dominated CSU on both the offensive and defensive ends, and to say that CSU has something to prove in this rivalry is nothing short of the truth.
“We don’t approach this game differently than any other game,” head coach Ryun Williams said. “It’s just another big game on our conference schedule. We have a tremendous amount of respect for Wyoming, they have a lot of good players and they’ve got some of the best shooting in the league.”
Last season’s match-up demonstrated first hand just how effective Wyoming’s shooting can be. They shot 42 percent and their leading scorers ended the night with 22 points, 13 points and 10 points.
The primary threats to the Rams this season come in the form of forward Kayla Woodward and guard Kaitlyn Mileto. Last year, Woodward put up 13 points against the Rams and this year she is averaging .433 field goal shooting percentage along with .389 3-point shooting percentage, averaging 17.9 points per game.
“Woodward is the preseason player of the year so she’s a player that we really need to compete on” Williams said. “Mileto, too, has always hurt the Rams. She’s a deep range three point shooter. Those two kids are really competitive and they hit big shots, so those two are our big keys.”
In addition to Woodward’s talent, Mileto is averaging 14.6 points per game to accompany her .384 3 point shooting percentage.
“Woodward and Mileto are incredible shooters and great scorers and very confident players,” Duffy said. “You always have to know where they’re at, you can’t give them even a glimpse or they’ll hit shots from everywhere.”
Even though Wyoming will be a tough competition, the Rams are confident in their ability to compete and come out with a win.
“I think we need to come in calm and cool and collected,” Duffy said. “At this point in the season, we really want to win every game and sometimes I think if you come in too desperate; you don’t start how you should. But in the end they’re going to do everything they can to try and prepare to beat us.”
Collegian Reporter Hannah Cornish can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @Hmcornish.
Forward Sam Martin: .504 fg% .254 3pt% 11.8 PPG
Guard Gritt Ryder: .426 fg% .371 3pt% 10.3 PPG
Guard AJ Newton: .371 fg% .389 3pt% 11.3 PPG
Forward Kayla Wooward: .433 fg% .389 3pt% 17.9 PPG
Guard Kaitlyn Mileto: .390 fg% .384 3pt % 14.6 PPG
Guard Fallon Lewis: .502 fg% .267 3pt % 15.3 PPG