Nov. 21, 2001
Although Colorado State overwhelmed its first opponent, the competition will be much tougher Wednesday night.
The No. 20 Rams play host to No. 15 Notre Dame, the defending national champion.
Colorado State (1-0) opened with a 102-30 victory over Sacramento State last Friday night. The Rams shot 65.7 percent in the second half, had five players score in double figures and got at least two points from all 11 players.
The Rams jumped four spots in this week’s AP poll after their victory, which also saw them hold Sacramento State to 20.9 percent shooting.
Things won’t be nearly as easy against Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish (1-0) opened defense of their national title with a 42-35 victory over Valparaiso on Sunday. Freshman center Teresa Borton, replacing departed Player of the Year Ruth Riley, had 14 points and nine rebounds in her collegiate debut. Alicia Ratay added 11 points and nine boards.
Though the Irish likely won’t score as much as they did last season when they had players like Riley and Niele Ivey, they can still defend. Notre Dame limited Valparaiso to 27.7 percent shooting, its best defensive effort against a nonconference team in nearly 12 years.
Even though the 42 points Sunday represented Notre Dame’s lowest offensive output in nine years, coach Muffet McGraw thinks the scoring will come.
“I think it was an anomaly,” she said of the game. “I really feel good about the offensive capabilities of this team.”
The Irish are beginning a two-game road trip that also includes a game at Arizona on Saturday.
Notre Dame will be meeting Colorado State for the first time. The Rams, who have become successful under coach Tom Collen, know the importance of the game.
“This has to be one of the biggest games to ever be played in Moby Arena,” director of athletics Jeff Hathaway said. “It isn’t often you get a chance to compete against the national champion, and we have an opportunity to really set a tone for this season.”