The CSU womenâ€™s basketball team downed UNLV 68-61 on Tuesday night at Moby Arena, largely on the shoulders of a milestone night for junior Kim Mestdagh.
Mestdagh poured in a career-high 35 points, helping the Rams (9-8, 2-2) start the spring semester on a positive note. The team stumbled to a 2-4 record over the Winter Break.
Three and a half minutes into the second half, Mestdagh hit an open three-point shot from the left corner. This basket not only marked her 18th point of the game but helped her eclipse the 1,000-point mark for her CSU career.
â€œI am so happy for (Mestdagh). Every game she is marked, she works her tail off everyday,â€ coach Kristen Holt said, â€œThat monkey is off her back.â€
This marked the 14th time the junior has reached double figures this season and puts her at 1,017 career points, only 20 points behind being in the Top 15 in career points at CSU. With more than a season remaining in her career, the Belgium-native has a chance to finish among the all-time CSU greats in scoring.
Though excited about the accomplishment, Mestdagh insisted that it was not on her mind but did note that it does feel a lot better having it come with a victory.
â€œI feel the same, but itâ€™s great to have, and Iâ€™m really happy. I wouldnâ€™t feel the same if we would have lost,â€ Mestdagh said.
The victory marks the Ramsâ€™ sixth consecutive win over UNLV. But more importantly, they evened their record in conference and got the team back on track.
â€œWe played really well together,â€ CSU freshman forward Sam Martin said. â€œWe came together and encouraged, and it added on to our other wins and will add to more wins.â€
Martin continued her consistency in the paint, ending the game with 16 points and 9 rebounds.
Injuries have plagued the Rams all year and Tuesday night was no exception. CSU had just three players on the bench and despite the lack of depth, they came up big, scoring 15 points on the evening.
â€œSome people play in positions they arenâ€™t used to,â€ said Mestdagh of the short bench. â€œYou just have to find a way to get it done, and we did.â€
After giving up a 14-point lead in the second half, CSU will work on its offense against the full-court press and mental focus, as the Rams seemed flustered at times against pressure applied by the Runninâ€™ Rebels.
CSU will have little time to enjoy the victory, as they travel to Provo, Utah on Saturday afternoon to take on the BYU Cougars, who are unbeaten in conference.
Womenâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter David de Besche can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.