In a sloppy game in which there were 38 total turnovers, CSU womenâ€™s basketball did enough to beat New Mexico 61-54 Wednesday night.
â€œWe werenâ€™t real sharp,â€ CSU coach Kristen Holt said. â€œAnd I didnâ€™t think we made smart decisions.â€
The Rams (8-12, 4-1 MW) struggled early in the game, falling behind New Mexico (6-13, 0-5 MW) 12-2 within the first seven minutes of the game.
CSU righted the ship later in the first half, erasing New Mexicoâ€™s lead, and went into halftime with a 27-23 lead.
Hot shooting by New Mexico early on was neutralized by a change in defensive scheme for the Rams.
â€œThey went from man to zone,â€ New Mexico coach Yvonne Sanchez said. â€œWe missed some shots, and they came back and hit some shots, and theyâ€™re a good team.â€
Senior standout Kim Mestdagh was held to just two points in seven minutes of play in the first half because of early foul trouble.
Mestdagh then went into the second half with a hot hand shooting, garnering 17 points in 19 minutes, to finish with a game-high 19 points.
â€œI spent most of the first half on the bench,â€ Mestdagh said. â€œThey played everyone the same [in the second half], so I was able to run around there and find my open spot and then get those shots off.â€
Anchoring the middle of the floor for most of the night for the Rams was Meghan Heimstra, who recorded 10 points and nine rebounds, her highest rebound total in conference play this season.
â€œI just kind of focused on getting (offensive)boards and putbacks,â€ said Heimstra, who had three offensive rebounds in the contest. â€œJust kind of doing my part on the teamâ€”I feel like is rebounding.â€
The Rams will need to continue their aggression on the boards in their next contest against San Diego State on Saturday.
San Diego State has won 11 straight games, and is in first place in the MW, just one game ahead of CSU for the conference lead.
â€œI still think our post players are big keys,â€ Holt said of the matchup with San Diego State. â€œBecause post players can give us release, [because] we donâ€™t have a lot of guard depth.â€
After starting off the year 4-1 in conference play, the Rams now find themselves in a position to get into first place in the conference with a victory.
â€œItâ€™s exciting,â€ Sam Martin said. â€œWeâ€™re in a really good position and I think our team is really ready and like, weâ€™re focused and we want it.â€
Womenâ€™s basketball Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Final Score CSU: 61, New Mexico: 54
Rebounds: CSU:33, New Mexico: 29
FG: CSU 46.6 percent, New Mexico: 40.9 percent
3-pt: CSU: 40.0 percent, New Mexico: 50.0 percent
Turnovers CSU: 16, New Mexico: 22