Rams Know Challenge They Face in WNIT Round 2

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Rest assured, Colorado State will not be in parts unknown in the second-round game against South Dakota on Sunday afternoon. The Rams coaching staff has a long history at South Dakota.

Rams head coach Ryun Williams is an alum of South Dakota, and was the head coache at the school from 2008-12 before coming to Fort Collins. Chad Lavin, CSU's director of women's basketball administration, is the winningest coach in South Dakota history (273-138), and CSU assistant coach Amber Cunningham played for Williams and LAvin at South Dakota, where her 1,759 points are third highest in school history.

And what they know is the challenge in the game, which will tip off at noon MDT Sunday, that the Rams will face in a South Dakota team that was 14-0 in the Summit League, the first unbeaten team in the conference since 1994.

The Coyotes advanced with a 65-58 win over Houston in the opening round. They also beat CSU's first round opponent, Western Illinois, twice during the regular season -- 82-58 on the road and 92-81 at home.

The winner of Sunday's game will play the winner of the Michigan State/Toledo game on a date between March 21-23 at a site and time to be determined.

A win for CSU would mark its first multiple-win post-season wins since 2003 when the Rams advanced to the WNIT semifinals. It also would give CSU 22 wins this season, which would rank 13th on the Rams all-time season win list.

Rams senior guard Stine Austgulen is shooting .428 (65-for-152) from three-point range, on pace to finish sixth on the CSU single-season three-point field goal percentage list. The record is held by Vanessa Espinoza (2003-04 - .455, 51-for-112). Austgulen's career three-point field goal percentage is .386 (146-for-378), which ranks sixth on CSU's all-time list. The senior ranks only behind Brenda Brunner (.415), Vanessa Espinoza (.414), Becky Hammon (.411), Elizabeth English (.391) and Jackie Campbell (.388). 

The Rams are holding the opposition to 57.1 points per game, fourth lowest in program history.


Tracy RingolsbyComment