Rocky Mountain Showdown carries varied significance for CSU women

Mack Beaulieu

We don’t always believe athletes when they say “it’s just another game,” but Colorado State University’s women’s basketball team has little reason to feel the significance of the Rocky Mountain Showdown rivalry. 

With new faces and new starters all around for the Rams’ women’s team, there are only a couple of members you could say this rivalry should have extra significance for, and they’re shrugging it off as best they can.

Ad

CSU players sprint on a fastbreak
Mollie Mounsey(24) sprints down the court on a fastbreak during CSU’s home game vs Eastern NM on Nov. 6th, 2018. The Rams win 72-46. (Devin Cornelius | Collegian)

“To me, it’s just another game and we don’t need to look at it any more than that,” junior Mollie Mounsey said. “It’s a game and we’re going to compete.”

Coach Ryun Williams has only won once against the University of Colorado, Boulder, a game that went down to the wire in the 2015-2016 season. It’s a smudge on an otherwise strong record of success for Williams. He said this game is as personal as any other matchup.

“You always want to beat CU,” Williams said. “But it’s always personal, to be honest with you, every game I coach is a personal game. That’s how I look at it.”

It could be for the best that 13 of 14 players on the Rams’ roster weren’t here three years ago for the team’s last win over CU. Most of them didn’t grow up near the rivalry, this could mean a lot less pressure as the Rams go up against one of the best teams they’ll face this season.

“Everyone’s played intense games before. Every game is a game to improve ourselves”Myanne Hamm

The Buff’s have some of the Pac-12’s best guard play at their disposal with First-Team All-Pac-12 player senior Kennedy Leonard, honorably mentioned senior Alex Robinson, and defensive stopper junior Quinessa Caylao-Do, who dropped 23 in her last game.

The challenge should provide a great opportunity for the Rams to figure out who’s leading this team, with an entirely new starting line-up and varied skill sets among them.

“We need to grow into some leadership,” Williams said. “It’s a lot of new faces and they’re just figuring out how to play: how to play hard, how to play together. I think everybody needs to just lead themselves and do their job.”

CSU Sophomore Myanne Hamm celebrates with a fan on their win over Fresno State Jan. 18, 2017. (Davis Bonner | Collegian)

One of the players that Williams did mention as a possible leader of this team is senior Myanne Hamm, who is one of only three players on the team from Colorado and the only one from Fort Collins. As one of only five players on the team that has played against the Buffs and the only one present for a Showdown win, she knows more of what to expect.

“We just have to play our strengths and play our truths in who we are,” Hamm said. “We can’t let the distractions get to us, everything’s going to be wild, sometimes you can’t hear what the coach is saying because it’s so loud. Whoever the five are on the floor, you have to be there with each other.”

Aside from what a win will do in regards to their strength of schedule, that type of atmosphere epitomizes why this game would mean so much for this team. A group of unusually talented journey women and high-level international players could use a game like this to find their chemistry and their roles.

Ad

“You can look on paper and we might be inexperienced or young, but everyone’s come here, and we’re here for a reason,” Hamm said. “Everyone’s played intense games before. Every game is a game to improve ourselves, we just want to keep getting better with each game and it just happens to be CU this week.”

That’s not exactly a lie, because it does just happen to be CU this week. It also just happens to be one of the Rams’ biggest games this season.

Mack Beaulieu is a reporter for the collegian who can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on twitter @Mack_Covers