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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Stella: Give the CSU women’s basketball team the support it deserves

Colorado+State+University%E2%80%99s+Joseana+Vaz+fights+for+the+rebound+against+a+Colorado+Christian+University+defender.

Collegian | River Kinnaird

Colorado State University’s Joseana Vaz (10) fights for the rebound against a Colorado Christian University defender at Moby Arena Nov. 1. CSU won 78-47.

Michael Stella, Staff Reporter

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

The college basketball season has arrived in Fort Collins. There are big questions about the Colorado State University men’s basketball team and how they will perform after making an NCAA tournament appearance at the end of last season.

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However, a bigger question regarding college basketball in Fort Collins might be why the CSU women’s team does not get more support from the student section and the Fort Collins community.

Last year, the CSU women’s basketball team — led by head coach Ryun Williams — finished the season 21-12 with a magical run at the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament, where the team made it to the championship game against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The Rams ended up losing to UNLV in the championship game, but CSU was the sixth seed at the start of the tournament.

For comparison, the men’s basketball team — the second seed at the Mountain West tournament — did not make it past the semifinal.

Last season, the women’s team was 11-5 at home, which would have given fans plenty to cheer for if they had actually shown up. Some notable home wins for the Rams included games against the University of Wyoming and Utah State University.

The women’s team started off this season with an exhibition game against Colorado Christian University, which it won 78-47. While exhibition games are not always the best test for the season to come, CSU played impressively.

“CSU women’s basketball was good last year, and they will be even better this year. The missing piece to their success just might be better fan attendance.”  

The addition of players Destiny Thurman, Joseana Vaz, Kiya Dorroh, Meghan Boyd and Cailyn Crocker from the transfer portal will bolster an already strong lineup.

The new additions will also give needed help to McKenna Hofschild, who has made the All-Mountain West Team both years she has been in the Mountain West Conference with CSU. 

Last season’s men’s games were the first time the average attendance at Moby Arena exceeded 5,000 fans since 1998 — except for the 2012-13 season, which also made that record. The average attendance per game for the women’s team was 1,207.

The men’s team saw the largest student crowd in Moby Arena in recent school history Jan. 19, with 3,850 students in attendance. That means one CSU men’s game saw more students than the average total attendance for women’s games.

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College athletics are great because of the atmosphere at the games. Fanbases are often more loyal to colleges than they are to professional sports teams; it means more to cheer for your alma mater.  

If Moby Madness helps the men’s team win home games — which it did in 14 of the Rams’ 15 home games last season — why don’t Rams turn out for women’s basketball?

Inside Moby Arena, there is one women’s basketball jersey that has been retired. That jersey belongs to Becky Hammon.

Hammon played for CSU in college, and her jersey No. 25 was retired in 2005. Hammon has had a long, successful career in professional basketball. This past season, as a head coach, she led the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces to their first championship in franchise history.

CSU women’s basketball was good last year, and they will be even better this year. The missing piece to their success just might be better fan attendance.  

Reach Michael Stella at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @michaelstella_.

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