After three weeks worth of defeat, the CSU womenâ€™s basketball finally picked up a win Saturday afternoon at Moby Arena, defeating the Air Force Falcons 70-49.
The loss was the Falconsâ€™ 42nd consecutive road defeat, dating back to January of 2008.
The Rams (13-14, 6-8 MWC) ended the first half on a 19-3 run that put the game out of reach for Air Force.
Falcons (8-19, 3-11 MWC) senior guard Raimee Beck scored 11 points in the first half but was held to just a pair of free throws in the second to finish with 13.
â€œThe end of the halves have killed us lately,â€ head coach Kristen Holt said. â€œThat was really big for us.â€
Freshman forward Sam Martin recorded her second consecutive double-double, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while attempting a career-high 16 field goals.
â€œI think we all have to do what we do to win, and we need to box out and get (offensive) boards,â€ Martin said. â€œThatâ€™s what Iâ€™ve been focusing on.â€
Martin was the tallest player on the floor for most of the game, which allowed her to score easily inside and pass out of double teams to open shooters.
â€œ(CSUâ€™s forwards) are going to be a different matchup. Everybody is for us since weâ€™re so small,â€ Air Force head coach Andrea Williams said. â€œWeâ€™re never going to be bigger than anyone.â€
The Rams led by just one with 8:07 remaining in the first half after Beck hit a three-pointer, but CSU scored the next 10 points to take control from there.
CSU senior guard Sara Hemmings left the game early in the first half with an injury sustained to the face. She returned later and finished with four points and two assists.
â€œKim (Mestdagh) threw the ball at my face basically,â€ Hemmings said. â€œShe didnâ€™t mean to, but I just got a little bloody nose.â€
Mestdagh continued her scoring roll, pouring in 26 points while making four three-pointers. It was her third consecutive game with 20 or more points and the fourth time in six games.
The win, coupled with a San Diego State loss, put CSU in a three-way tie for fourth place in the conference.
â€œI think weâ€™re in a great position because everything we want we can get,â€ Mestdagh said. â€œWe just got to beat Utah and San Diego State, and weâ€™re in fourth place, which is exactly where we want to be.â€
Womenâ€™s basketball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org