First place in the Mountain West womenâ€™s basketball standings will be on the line Saturday when CSU travels to Viejas Arena to challenge San Diego State.
CSU moved into a second-place tie with UNLV with a win over Wyoming Wednesday, while San Diego State has won its last 11 games.
â€œItâ€™s a good position to be in,â€ senior guard Kim Mestdagh said. â€œThey have to prove themselves that theyâ€™re first in the conference.â€
San Diego State leads the MW in scoring defense and offensive rebounds and is beating conference opponents by nearly 15 points per game during its 5-0 start.
â€œThey cause people to play fast, and sometimes frantic,â€ CSU coach Kristen Holt said. â€œThe more you can control the tempo, the better off youâ€™ll be.â€
Junior guard Courtney Clements leads the offensive charge for the Aztecs, averaging 15.9 points per game to lead the MW.
â€œSheâ€™s someone weâ€™ll definitely have to pay attention to â€” we donâ€™t want her to go off on us,â€ Mestdagh said. â€œIf we can limit (her shots) and pressure her a lot, itâ€™ll be a good deal.â€
Teams donâ€™t win 11 consecutive games with just one player, however, and San Diego State possesses depth as well as individual firepower.
Junior guard and Duke transfer Chelsea Hopkins paces the team in and assists (6.1) and rebounds (5.8) per game. Both rank in the conferenceâ€™s top-15 while she leads the conference in assists.
â€œTheyâ€™re a really athletic team â€” they have post players as well as shooters from the outside,â€ Mestdagh said. â€œTheyâ€™re a threat from everywhere on the floor, and I feel like theyâ€™re kind of fearless.â€
Womenâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.