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Gonzaga womens’ travel to Colorado State for season opener

The defending Mountain West champs appears to be in rebuilding mode, but must still be taken seriously

NCAA Basketball: Boise State at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off an impressive exhibition victory a week ago, the lady Zags travel to Fort Collins, Colorado to take on the defending Mountain West Champions Colorado State. The Rams have been at the top of the league the past few years, with the height of their success coming a couple of years ago with a 31-2 record. Ironically, it was another West Coast Conference team in San Francisco who knocked them off in the NCAA tournament.

Last season was also a successful year, culminating with a 25-9 (15-3) record. However, the tide may be changing against Colorado State in that the top two players from last year has graduated. Ellen Nystrom led the team in the three big categories with 15.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg and 4.5 apg. Just right behind her was Elin Gustavisson with 14.5 ppg and 6.8 rpg. They were the only two players who averaged double figures and replacing them will be difficult.

The team found that out the hard way after suffering a loss at home to the Idaho Vandals to start the season. Colorado State gave up 51 second-half points in route to an 83-69 defeat. What might be most eye-popping was Idaho going 18-36 from deep.

Now before you go saying to yourselves “easy win” there was something else that happened in that game. True freshman Lore Devos dropped 25 points in her first college game. She could very well be their next star.

This is also still a road game to a high-altitude arena, which has effects on your regardless of gender and age. It’s important that the women get an early lead, especially with the number of young players. The gameplan should like always be to feed Barta as much as possible as the Rams don’t have any post players of her caliber.

The game starts at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. For who won’t get the game locally it will be streamed on the Stadium App. Gonzaga is currently receiving votes in the AP poll and a couple of top-25 teams have already fallen. If the Zags keep winning there’s a good chance a number will eventually be next to their name.