Women’s basketball shows potential in win over Colorado Christian

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Collegian | River Kinnaird

Redshirt junior guard Cailyn Crocker (32) dribbles toward the basket through two Colorado Christian University defenders in Moby Arena Nov. 1. The Rams won 78-47.

Damon Cook , Staff Reporter

The Colorado State University women’s basketball team treated fans to a win in their first game of the season, beating the Colorado Christian University Cougars 78-47 in an exhibition match.

Since it was an exhibition match, it does not count toward the Rams’ record, but it did showcase some of the Rams’ new talent this season. 

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Colorado State welcomed five new transfer students to their roster for the 2022-23 basketball season, including sophomore guard Kiya Dorroh from the University of  Missouri, senior guard Destiny Thurman from The University of Texas at El Paso, junior forward Joseana Vaz from Casper College in Wyoming, redshirt junior guard Cailyn Crocker from the University of California, Berkeley and senior guard Meghan Boyd from the University of Denver.

Thurman said she is excited to be “playing with this team and taking it one game at a time and coming out with a win and carrying that over to conference and conference tournaments.”

“It’s definitely an honor. It’s not necessarily my goal (to win the Nancy Lieberman Award). I guess I’m more focused on the team aspect of winning a Mountain West (Conference) championship.” -McKenna Hofschild, senior guard

Thurman was one of three players to put up double-digit points in the CCU game. Boyd and Vaz were the other two who scored double-digit points, showcasing the talent CSU added through transfers.

Thurman, who scored the most points at 13 and shot 83% from the field, looked like she could add another dynamic guard to  the Rams’ backcourt. Vaz provided a spark off the bench, scoring 10 as well as tying Crocker for a game-high three steals. Boyd also scored 10 points. 

The Rams added all of these pieces to a team that already features a talented senior guard in McKenna Hofschild. Hofschild was named to a watchlist to win the 2023 Nancy Lieberman Award for best NCAA Division I women’s point guard. 

She was one of only 20 watch-list candidates from around the nation. Hofschild, who only had four points in the CCU game, looked to get her teammates involved, adding nine assists to her totals. Hofschild made incredible pass after incredible pass, showcasing her court vision against CCU.

 

“It’s definitely an honor,” Hofschild said. “It’s not necessarily my goal (to win the Nancy Lieberman Award). I guess I’m more focused on the team aspect of winning a Mountain West (Conference) championship.” 

CSU is predicted to finish third in the Mountain West Conference, behind the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and The University of New Mexico. However, the Rams have a very deep team, which will be crucial if the Rams want to make a championship run. 

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“We trust a lot of kids,” CSU head coach Ryun Williams said. “We can play with some depth.”

The Rams dominated the Cougars in every statistical category except for rebounds, which the Cougars outscored the Rams 44-35, and free throws, which the Cougars scored three more of with just one more attempt than the Rams. The Cougars’ rebound domination may have come off the Rams shooting 30 threes, but as the competition increases, the Rams will need to look to be better on the boards. 

“The biggest thing right now is growing this team together,” Williams said. “We got some new pieces, so we just need to grow together and come into sync.”

Chemistry is something that could pose an issue for the Rams at the beginning of the season with the addition of so many new players, but they looked in sync against CCU.

The Rams will take on the Brigham Young University Cougars in their first official game of the season at 6 p.m. Nov. 8 in Moby Arena. The game will be a whiteout game.

Reach Damon Cook at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dwcook2001.