The CSU women’s basketball team (8-17, 3-9 MWC) is set to host the Air Force Falcons (4-21, 0-12 MWC) this Saturday at 7 p.m. in the second matchup of the year between the two schools.
“The game has me a little bit concerned because I think if we play Air Force like we did the other night, we will get beat by them,” head coach Kristen Holt said. “It is not a given that, just because they have not won a game in a while, that they are going to come in here a lay-down. They are looking for that first conference win and, quite honestly, we are probably someone they can beat.”
Last time the two schools faced off, the Rams came away with their second Mountain West Conference win, 55-50, on Jan. 20 at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
In that game, junior forward Juanise Cornell had a break-through night, scoring 19 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Zoi Simmons also had a great game with 14 points, while senior Amaka Uzomah ended with 11 rebounds.
Air Force begins Saturday night’s game on a 12-game losing streak, with their last win coming against Navy on Jan. 3.
“We are very excited for this game. It is going to be a tough game. We have to be ready to play,” senior forward Carine Reimink said. “So we are just going to work hard and be ready to play (Air Force).”
The Rams come into Saturday’s game off a devastating loss to Utah 74-45 Wednesday night where they failed to score a single point for the first five minutes of play.
In Wednesday night’s game CSU shot their lowest field goal percentage of the season, a meager 25.8 percent.
Reimink and sophomore guard Bonnie Barbee ended Wednesday’s game posting eight points apiece, the most points posted by any Rams’ player.
“It was a tough loss. It was good for me to finally start scoring again,” Reimink said. “In the end, we didn’t play well so it didn’t matter much.”
Senior captain and guard Kandy Beemer and freshman guard/forward Kim Mestdagh were second in scoring with six points each.
Mestdagh has now placed herself in the top-five for the most three point attempts by a freshman at CSU after she attempted five three pointers in Utah, connecting on only one of her attempts. She has 127 attempts on the season, connection on 39 of them (.307). Mestdagh also impressed coach Holt in Thursday’s practice with impressive shots all around the court.
“I thought (Mestdagh) was going really hard and shooting the ball well,” coach Holt said about Mestdagh’s performance in Thursday’s practice.
“I want another win,” Mestdagh said. “Air Force is a beatable team, but if we play like we did the other night, we won’t win.”
The Rams have four games left this season, including two home games: this Saturday’s televised matchup and the last game of the season against San Diego State on March 3.
“It is very possible to win these next few games. As long as we come ready we will be fine,” Reimink said.
Tipoff is set for 7 p. m. and the game will be televised on the Mtn. network.
Women’s basketball beat writer Justin Warren can be reached at email@example.com.