Feb 252012
 
Authors: Andrew Schaller

On senior day in Moby Arena Saturday afternoon, junior Meghan Heimstra stole the show.

Heimstra propelled the Rams to a 68-65 victory over San Diego State with a career-high 21 points.

Coming off the bench, Heimstra provided a spark on offense in the first half, scoring a game-high 13 points while carrying the Rams to a 34-32 advantage at halftime.

San Diego State (21-6, 11-4 MW), behind Courney Clements’ 24 points, traded scores with CSU throughout the second half, with neither team securing a lead of more than two possessions. The contest featured nine lead changes and 13 ties.

The Rams (13-15, 9-4 MW) were able to get a four-point lead with 20 seconds remaining in the game, but San Diego State’s Chelsea Hopkins responded by hitting a 3-pointer with two seconds to play to bring the score to 66-65.

CSU then inbounded the ball to senior Kim Mestdagh, who was immediately fouled and sent to the line to shoot two shots with 1.8 seconds to play.

Mestdagh was instructed by coach Kristen Holt to miss her second free throw after making the first, forcing San Diego State to get a rebound and not have the ability to have a long inbound pass down the floor, but Mestdagh made both.

“I was trying to miss the last one,” Mestdagh said. “I’ve been struggling with my free throws in the other game. I was just like, ‘How can I not miss right now?’”

San Diego State then turned the ball over after fumbling the inbound pass from Hopkins, securing the victory for the Rams in the back-and-forth affair.

The victory keeps CSU in second place in the Mountain West, tied with UNLV, who will play the Rams on Wednesday, and gives them a victory over a quality opponent, as San Diego State came into the contest having won 18 of their last 19 games.

“We belong here,” Heimstra said. “It shows that we can play with these guys.”

The result also sends off seniors Mestdagh and Kelly Hartig, who were likely playing in their final game at Moby Arena.

“Couldn’t have asked for a better game to be our last home game,” said Mestdagh, while fighting back tears after the game. “I could just feel that everyone was ready to send us out with a win, and it just means a lot.”

The Rams will play their final game of the regular season at UNLV Wednesday at 8 p.m.

The winner of the game will have sole possession of second place and will have the No. 2 seed in the MW tournament. With a loss and a win by TCU, the Rams could fall to a No. 4 seed, where they would likely have to face top-seeded San Diego State in the second round.

Women’s Basketball Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

Result: San Diego State: 65 CSU: 68
Up Next: CSU vs. UNLV
When: Wednesday, 8 p.m.
Where: Las Vegas, Nev.

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