In their first road game since Nov. 19, the CSU women’s basketball team lost to the Montana Grizzles (6-2) in Montana.
“We lost to a good team,” head coach Kristen Holt said. “If they are not the best team we have played, they are the second best team.”
The Rams came into Wednesday night’s game with momentum after their second win of the season last Saturday afternoon, only to have a damper placed on their spirits by the Grizzles.
“Montana was a good team. They are calm players that execute,” said sophomore guard Bonnie Barbee.
On the night the Rams committed 20 total turnovers while shooting only 31.5 percent form the field and trailed the Grizzles the whole game.
“We had some stupid turnovers, and we have to take care of that,” said freshman guard Kim Mestdagh.
In the second half, CSU managed to sink just 20.7 percent of their shots, while Montana stayed consistent shooting 43 percent in the first half and 35.5 percent in the second half.
“I fell we kind of went through a roll towards the end of the first half and it kind of gradually stuck us there, otherwise we would have stayed right with them,” Barbee said.
The Rams ended the first half trailing the Grizzles by 10 points as Montana’s Lauren Beck hit a three-pointer with 22 seconds left on the clock.
In the first half the Rams shot slightly better than the Grizzles, going 11-25 compared to Montana’s 13-30. However, Montana was able to pull ahead in the first half due to CSU committing a number of fouls and the Grizzles shooting free throws well. Montana went to the line 11 times in the first half, missing only one of their free throw attempts.
The Rams were forced to play from behind early as Montana jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first two minutes of play that was negated by CSU’s first point of the night by senior captain Kandy Beemer.
The Rams, who have been a good rebounding team this season, only managed to obtain four offensive rebounds in the first half.
“We did not rebound well in the first half and we just played behind the whole time,” coach Holt said. “The disappointing thing is we only lost by 15 points tonight. I really thought only two people played good for us tonight. Everyone else just had poor performances tonight individually.”
Mestdagh started here fourth consecutive game, and finished the game with five rebounds and a career high 20 points in 26 minutes of play.
“I just am getting more used to the game each time I play,” Mestdagh said.
The Rams will be back at Moby Arena on Sunday for a game against the Northern Iowa Panthers.
Coach Holt will give the team the day off today and resume practice Friday afternoon to work on some of the flaws that still seem to be hurting the team.
“We cannot rely just on scoring. We’ve got to do things to allow our defense to make our offense happen,” coach Holt said. “We have to execute our offense and get quality shots. People are being aggressive at times but they are not always good shots.”
Women’s basketball beat writer Justin Warren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.