In a game they never trailed, the CSU womenâ€™s basketball team was able to hold off a late rally by Wyoming on Saturday to hang on for a 62-58 win.
A 10-point Rams lead with 10:34 remaining in the game slowly shrank to a two-point lead with 50 seconds remaining, thanks to Wyomingâ€™s (6-11, 2-2 MW) hot three-point shooting down the stretch.
â€œItâ€™s kind of scary because theyâ€™re really good shooters,â€ Kim Mestdagh said. â€œAnd definitely when theyâ€™re shooting 80 percent from the three, I mean, itâ€™s kind of a concernâ€¦but I think we handled it fine.â€
Down by two, Wyomingâ€™s last possession ended in a sloppy attempt by Kaitlyn Mileto to get the ball inside to Chaundra Sewell, but stifling defense by the Rams concluded with a steal by Sam Martin.
â€œKaitlyn went by the big, and she made the right decision, just didnâ€™t complete the pass,â€ Wyoming coach Joe Legerski said. â€œI thought Colorado State made a good play on it.â€
Martin then made two free throws with one second remaining, sealing the victory for the Rams (7-12, 3-1 MW).
Wyoming mounted its comeback on the back of Kayla Woodward, who led all scorers with 23 points on the day, her third 20-point performance in the last four games.
â€œI just know I have to be more aggressive,â€ Woodward said. â€œAnd when Iâ€™m aggressive, that helps the team out too.â€
Mestdagh once again led the Rams in scoring with 21 points, her second 20-plus point performance in as many games.
â€œKim is just kind of back to herself,â€ CSU coach Kristen Holt said. â€œShe had a solid game tonight and was looking for her shot, and thatâ€™s what we need her to do.â€
Effective guard play was key for the Rams, as Martin struggled with early foul trouble, and Kelly Hartig sat out early because of a leg injury incurred in the first half.
CSUâ€™s guards protected the ball, propelling the Rams to a season-low 11 turnovers in the game â€” 10 less than their 21.3 turnover per game average.
â€œThatâ€™s 10 extra possessions where we can do something,â€ Mestdagh said. â€œI think that helped out a lot.â€
Next, CSU will play New Mexico Wednesday in another MW matchup.
â€œWeâ€™ve still got a lot of basketball to play,â€ Holt said. â€œBut that being said, for us to kind of gain our confidence through all of this and win at home, I think it only helps our team just grow.â€
Womenâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at email@example.com
CSU – Kim Mestdagh
Wyoming – Kayla Woodward