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CSU women’s basketball returns to hardwood in exhibition win

Collegian | Serena Bettis
Colorado State University guard Cailyn Crocker (32) moves around a defender to shoot the ball against the University of Montana Nov. 11, 2022. The Rams won 82-58 and were 2-0 for the season.

Welcome back Colorado State basketball. 

In an 87-50 win, CSU women’s basketball defeated the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in an exhibition match. 


While the game won’t count toward official stats, there was plenty to be excited about in CSU’s return to Moby Arena. The Rams showcased their talent, with most of their production coming from their returning players.

Marta Leimane was part of those players who returned this season. She had a good night, posting a stat line of 11 points, two rebounds, two assist, a block and a steal.

Leimane saw just six and a half minutes in her inaugural season with the Rams. She’s poised to have an increased role for the team this year.

“I’m so excited to help the team and play more with my teammates,” Leimane said. “Last year I watched more from the bench, but it was still awesome. Now it’s going to be even more awesome.”

McKenna Hofschild picked up right where she left off, finishing with 19 points, three rebounds and six assists in her 26 minutes. Hofschild has been, and will continue to be, one of the main driving forces behind the Rams lethal offense.

Part of being so lethal on offense is the perimeter shot for the Rams. They showed out from beyond the arc hitting 41% of their 3-point shots. 

Hannah Ronsiek is going to be a part of that lethal-perimeter play that the Rams aim to have this season. She joined Hofschild as the second starter in the backcourt against UCCS and showed why she’ll be a big part of the offense this season. The sophomore showed her shooting prowess, hitting 50% of the 3-point shots that she took.

“She’s starting — she’s going to play a lot of minutes,” coach Ryun Williams said. “She’s a really big-time threat from the perimeter. … I think Hannah’s primed to have a really nice year.”

With Ronsiek unable to be left alone on the perimeter, that frees up space in the paint. Cailyn Crocker  — a key player returning to the Rams this season — made it a point to get to the basket Thursday night. 


Crocker was the second-leading scorer on the team, scoring 15 points and only missed one shot, which was a 3-pointer. Crocker said she worked on her 3-point shot this offseason because teams were keying in on her driving to the rim. But she’s still focused on reading what the defense gives her.

“I am focusing on doing whatever I read the defense to do,” Crocker said. “(UCCS) played more off of me. … I think just being able to attack the gaps and see how that works, but I’m just trying to do whatever needs to be done.”

While the Rams mostly saw success in their exhibition match, Wofford transfer Jackie Carman struggled. Carman played 23 minutes Thursday night, going 0-7 from the field and recording only one rebound and one turnover. 

While it wasn’t the best debut for Carman, Williams said that he’s not worried about her one bit. 

“It’s Moby Arena (for the) first time,” Williams said. “And you kind of want to show out, and so I’m not worried one bit about Jackie. That kid’s a rock star.”

Another struggle for the Rams came in the rebound battle, where they were out rebounded 38-33 by the Mountain Lions. 

That’s likely something the Rams will have to overcome again this season. Last year, they ranked toward the bottom of the MW in rebounding margin, tallying a -4.94 differential.

While that’s a problem the Rams will have to address during the season, Crocker and her teammates were just excited to get back on the hardwood. 

“It’s extremely nice,” Crocker said. “Just the vibes of the whole day was just like, ‘Game day is finally back here.’ It was super exciting. I know we’re excited to play against other people other than ourselves.”

CSU officially opens up their season against Le Moyne College at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 6 in Moby Arena, kick-starting a four-game homestand.

Reach Damon Cook at or on Twitter @dwcook2001.

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About the Contributors
Damon Cook, Sports Editor
Damon Cook is the 2023-24 sports editor for the The Collegian and has been at the paper since August 2022. He started doing coverage on volleyball and club sports before moving onto the women's basketball beat. He is in his third year and is completing his degree with a major in journalism and media communication and a minor in sports management. As The Collegian's sports editor, Cook reports on CSU sports and helps manage the sports desk and content throughout the week. After having a year to learn and improve, Cook will now get to be part of a new age under the sports desk. The desk moved on from all but one other person and will now enter into a new era. Damon started school as a construction management major looking to go in a completely different direction than journalism. After taking the year off during the COVID-19 pandemic, he quickly realized that construction wasn't for him. With sports and writing as passions, he finally decided to chase his dreams, with The Collegian helping him achieve that. He is most excited to bring the best and most in-depth sports coverage that The Collegian can provide.
Serena Bettis, Editor in Chief
Serena Bettis is your 2022-23 editor in chief and is in her final year studying journalism and political science. In her three years at The Collegian, Bettis has also been a news reporter, copy editor, news editor and content managing editor, and she occasionally takes photos, too. When Bettis was 5, her family moved from Iowa to a tiny town northwest of Fort Collins called Livermore, Colorado, before eventually moving to Fort Collins proper. When she was 8 years old, her dad enrolled at Colorado State University as a nontraditional student veteran, where he found his life's passion in photojournalism. Although Bettis' own passion for journalism did not stem directly from her dad, his time at CSU and with The Collegian gave her the motivation to bite down on her fear of talking to strangers and find The Collegian newsroom on the second day of classes in 2019. She's never looked back since. Considering that aforementioned fear, Bettis is constantly surprised to be where she is today. However, thanks to the supportive learning environment at The Collegian and inspiring peers, Bettis has not stopped chasing her teenage dream of being a professional journalist. Between working with her section editors, coordinating news stories between Rocky Mountain Student Media departments and coaching new reporters, Bettis gets to live that dream every day. When she's not in the newsroom or almost falling asleep in class, you can find Bettis working in the Durrell Marketplace and Café or outside gazing at the beauty that is our campus (and running inside when bees are nearby). This year, Bettis' goals for The Collegian include continuing its trajectory as a unique alt-weekly newspaper, documenting the institutional memory of the paper to benefit students in years to come and fostering a sense of community and growth both inside the newsroom and through The Collegian's published work. Bettis would like to encourage anyone with story ideas, suggestions, questions, concerns or comments to reach out to her at

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