New Mexico scored the first 15 points of the game on Saturday afternoon and never looked back in an 86-53 victory over the CSU women’s basketball team in Albuquerque.
The Rams (12-11, 5-5 Mountain West Conference) finally got on the board when senior guard Bonnie Barbee hit a corner three-pointer with 15:03 remaining in the first half, but the deficit proved too great to overcome.
“It definitely affected us,” said CSU senior guard Kim Mestdagh of the slow start. “We kind of hung our heads and weren’t really confident after that.”
Strong guard play drove the Lobos offense. Freshman Jasmine Patterson poured in a career-high 23 points while shooting 70 percent from downtown, and senior Amanda Best put up 13 points and 10 rebounds.
“I’d say it’s a general problem of us not playing team defense,” said freshman guard Hayley Thompson. “If there’s one player that’s hurting us we need to adjust as a team. Our communication was really not where it should be.”
This is the second consecutive game where CSU has given up a big scoring game to an opposing guard, as Wyoming’s Aubrey Vandiver scored 35 points last weekend at Moby Arena.
The Rams shot below 40 percent from the field and made only four of its eight free throws. Mestdagh scored 20 points and freshman Sam Martin chipped in 10, but no other Ram scored in double figures.
“It’s a lot easier when everyone is scoring, but there’s some games where not everyone is scoring and you have to step it up and lead your team,” Mestdagh said. “But it’s tough to do that every single game.”
The Lobos (9-13, 3-7 MWC), on the other hand, were firing on all cylinders. New Mexico shot over 53 percent on the afternoon and had four players in double figures.
“They move the ball so fast that we were always a step behind and they kept making a pass until they found the open player,” CSU head coach Kristen Holt said. “They got a lot of uncontested shots.”
The Rams gave up a season-high 86 points and their 33-point margin was the second largest; only a 40-point trouncing in Laramie earlier this season was more decisive.
The loss drops CSU to 5-5 in the conference with a home date against TCU looming on Wednesday night.
Women’s basketball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at email@example.com.