CSU womenâ€™s basketball escaped the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas with a win by the slimmest of margins last night, defeating the UNLV Runninâ€™ Rebels 66-65 in overtime.
Sophomore guard Kim Mestdagh scored 23 points on the night, but none were more important than the six she came up with in overtime. UNLV scored the first five points of the extra period, but with less than a minute left the Rams went to work.
With eleven seconds on the clock Mestdagh buried a three to give the Rams a one-point lead, which they were able to hold due to UNLVâ€™s last second shot not being released in time. Mestdagh was fouled on a jump shot with 44 seconds left, making the shot and the free throw that followed to bring CSU within two.
â€œIt feels great if you can hit a shot, especially if youâ€™re not really shooting that great in the game,â€ Mestdagh said, â€œHitting the most important shot of the game to win the game, you know, that feels really great.â€
Prior to UNLV taking a 52-50 lead with 6:20 left in regulation, CSU was up by as many as 12 in the second half. Stingy defense and a 12-0 run allowed the Rebels to pull in close near the end as neither team was able to deliver a knockout blow.
Junior guard Zoi Simmons missed a three pointer from the corner with one second left that would have given the Rams the win. Simmons scored 12 points on the night, her most since putting up 13 against CU-Boulder in December. The junior also had five assists.
â€œObviously we had a chance to win it in regulation and you just hope that your team isnâ€™t deflated,â€ CSU coach Kristen Holt said, â€œYou hope you can keep their energy up.â€
The Rams’ already short bench was trimmed further due to sophomores Meghan Heimstra and Natalie van den Adel fouling out in the latter stages of the second half.
After posting several poor starts over their past few games, CSU played forty minutes of solid basketball, as well as make shots when they mattered most.
â€œOne thing this group doesnâ€™t do is give up,â€ Holt said.