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WBB to Clash With CSU in Showdown

Dec 11, 2002

BOULDER - When the University of Colorado women's basketball team hosts in-state rival Colorado State this Thursday (7 p.m., KKZN 760 AM), the Buffs will be poised to avenge losses suffered to the Rams over their last three consecutive meetings.

Coming off three straight road games that have all resulted in victory, including a tournament win in the Oakland Classic last weekend, the Buffs (6-1) return to Boulder to take on a 5-1 CSU squad that will be playing on the road for the first time this season.

Though the Rams have captured the past three matches against CU, including an 81-69 victory last year in Fort Collins, the Buffs will once again look to extend the all-time series mark, one which they currently hold a decisive 24-9 edge in. But with the Rams having won the last battle in the Coors Events Conference Center during the 2000 season by a 72-70 score, CU feels that there is no better time than now to bring the bragging rights back to Boulder.

"This is a very big game for us," Buff starting center Tera Bjorklund stated Wednesday. "It has always been a very exciting game and it's a big rivalry between two schools with great tradition. We are definitely looking forward to it."

Leading the charge for Colorado against the Rams will be a strong frontcourt featuring the play of Bjorklund and senior forward Sabrina Scott. At 6-foot-5, the junior Bjorklund leads CU in scoring this season, as she is averaging 19.4 per game and is also tops in rebounds (7.1) and blocks (1.7).

Following Bjorklund's dominating play is the 6-foot-2 Scott, who has been just as big a terror on the boards this season. With an outstanding performance this past weekend in California, Scott was named the tournament MVP earning her first double-double of the year in the first game. Currently she boasts a 7.0 rebounds per game average, while she is second on the team netting 12.1 points a contest.

For CSU, Ashley Augspurger heads the Ram attack, as the senior forward is averaging 16.7 points per game along with 4.0 rebounds. Complementing Augspurger has been the gritty play of senior center Lisa Narkiewicz. Narkiewicz, who stands at 6-foot-2, currently leads the Rams in boards with 6.0 per outing, and has been solid on the offensive front netting 7.2 points per game.

"I think we match up pretty well with them," Bjorklund stated. "They are a really good shooting team and they are extremely smart on both offense and defense. We know they have some great players and that it is going to be a struggle to win."

However, come Thursday for the first time in three years, when the two squads step on the court, neither will be nationally ranked. Coming into the game last season CU stood at No. 10/11, while the Rams sported a No. 15/16 ranking. Now, though neither team is receiving much national praise, the Buffs know that a win against their big rival would help vault them into a position to better attain their season goals.

"Winning this game would be huge," Bjorklund stated. "It would really help boost our confidence and boost our momentum going into the rest of the season."

Besides any energy a win would give the Buffs heading into a tough schedule stretch that includes teams like Southern California and Syracuse, Bjorklund believes a victory would satisfy three people who have yet to beat the Rams in three tries.

"Really, I want to win this game for our seniors," Bjorklund stated of forward Linda Lappe, guard Di Spencer, and of course, Scott. "They have never beat (CSU) and going out like that on their last chance would be special.

"I think everything in this game will come down to desire," she added. "It will be whoever wants it the most. Certainly, we know they are a very good team and a really strong program. We know it will be a challenge."

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