Dec 022010
 
Authors: David de Besche

Rivalry games bring out the best in teams.

While the Northern Colorado Bears dominated the first half of Thursday night’s game, the Colorado State women’s basketball team got the last word.

The Rams beat rival Northern Colorado 73-66 thanks in large part to an inspired second half.

The Bears (2-6), who led by as many as 12 points, set the tone early with their physicality, which seemed to take the Rams out of their game.

“We came out not doing what we usually do and we let them be the aggressors,” freshman forward Sam Martin said.

Defensively the Bears did a solid job confusing the Rams early in the game, holding Rams junior guard Kim Mestdagh to just 4 points in the opening half.

“No one was moving,“ Mestdagh said. “I wasn’t moving, and they really knew how to play us,” Mestdagh said.

But momentum shifted late in the first half when the Rams went on a 14-4 run to close the frame. After adjustments made by head coach Kristen Holt at half time, the team came out with great energy and took over in the second half.

“Coach Holt told us not to play their game,” said Rams sophomore Meixandra Porter. “To be the aggressors, play together and play our game.”

Mestdagh led the Rams offensively after the intermission, scoring 21 of her game high 25 points in the second half.

The Rams capitalized on a physical Bears team whose opponents average 27 free throw attempts a game.

CSU hit 18 of 25 shots from the charity stripe, which proved instrumental in their late game surge.

The win extends the Rams’ winning streak to five games –– their longest since 2004.

It also improves the team to 5-2 on the season, giving them the best record in the Mountain West Conference.

While they are pleased with their record and the winning streak, the team remains focused on the “one game at time” mentality.

“We have to come in and work everyday and just focus on our next opponent,” Porter said.

Rivalry week continues for the Rams as they travel to Boulder on Wednesday to take on the Buffaloes.

Tip-off for that game is set for 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by the men’s game.

“They’ll (CU) be ready to go against us. It brings out the best in both teams.
It will be a good game,” Holt said.

Sports writer David De Besche can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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