After a week off from play, the CSU women’s basketball team (7-15, 2-7 MWC) lost its fourth consecutive Mountain West Conference game at the hands of the TCU Lady Frogs (14-8, 6-3 MWC), 71-59, Saturday afternoon in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Rams outscored TCU 34-31 in the second half, but it was not enough to pull off the victory after CSU found themselves down by 15 at the half.
“I thought we were not on the same page and not communicating. Each individual has to be ready to play at game time,” said head coach Kristen Holt. “TCU is a good team and they made some tough shots over us. When you have a team score like that, you don’t have as much of a problem with a loss because they earned it.”
CSU attempted yet another comeback, but TCU was able to answer all of the Rams’ field goals in the final 10 minutes of play.
TCU had a late 16-2 run against the Rams, which gave the Lady Frogs their biggest lead of the game 62-45 with seven minutes left in the game. TCU would then hold on to the lead and defeat CSU by 12 points.
“They are a good team and they hit some shots only good teams make. We had our hands in their faces and they still made those shots,” said junior Juanise Cornell.
After a free throw by freshman Meghan Heimstra with 13 minutes left in the game, the Rams pulled to within three points for the second time in the half. The bucket capped a three-minute, 14-0 run for the Rams.
“We made that run and I thought, ‘We are making our comeback.’ We just ran out of gas,” Holt said.
CSU out-scored TCU for the first seven minutes of the second half 17-4 but couldn’t keep the pace or get back into the lead.
The Lady Frogs shot 55 percent from the field in the first half, while CSU had trouble getting any of their shots to drop, sinking only 27 percent.
“Defensively we were not ready to play. TCU got a lot of easy looks at the basket. Our defense was not really good the whole game,” said freshman Kim Mestdagh.
TCU went up on the Rams 6-0 at the beginning of the game until Cornell took control, scoring the first eight points for the Rams pulling the Rams to within six.
“We have to come out from the very beginning and be ready to play. No one can make you want to play basketball and there is nothing anyone can say to you to get you pumped up. That is something we have to do on our own,” Cornell said.
CSU ended the game shooting 31 percent from the field while TCU connected on 46 percent of their shots.
For the Rams, three players ended Saturday’s game scoring double digits. Cornell and senior Britney Minor combined for 21 points, while Mestdagh led CSU in scoring with 17 points off of five three-pointers and a jump shot.
“It was good to get back on track again. The past couple of games were not good scoring-wise for me,” Mestdagh said.
Saturday’s game was Mestdagh’s best performance since scoring 20 points against Montana back on Dec. 10.
“(Mestdagh) has that ability. Tonight she had her feet under her, her stroke looked good and she was making her shots,” Holt said. “I thought she did good on the defensive end getting steals and deflections. She played a good all-around-game.”
Heimstra led the Rams in rebounding with six and Amaka Uzomah and Mestdagh each had five rebounds.
The Rams return to Moby Arena for the first time in two weeks to take on the BYU Cougars (15-5, 5-3 MWC) on Wednesday.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Women’s basketball beat writer Justin Warren can be reached at email@example.com.