The CSU women’s basketball team (9-20, 4-12 MWC) lost a close game to the San Diego State Aztecs (21-6, 12-3 MWC) last night in the final game of the 2008-09 regular season inside Moby Arena.
With nine seconds left on the clock, sophomore Zoi Simmons took the ball up the court for the Rams and kicked it out to freshman Meghan Heimstra for a last second shot that was blocked by SDSU. The Aztecs pulled the ball out of the air after the block and the buzzer sounded, as SDSU defeated the Rams 68-66.
“I really was proud of our effort and I really liked the way we ran the floor. They are the type of team that causes us to play better,” head coach Kristen Holt said. “Our thought; our effort was way better than (against) Wyoming or New Mexico. I think the fact we played them twice to a one and two point game, that is a very good accomplishment for our program.”
“Even though we lost, we played hard,” senior Britney Minor said.
Senior Carine Reimink tied the game for the Rams with 44 seconds left in the game, only to have Paris Johnson connect on a layup for SDSU at the opposite end of the court. Johnson’s shot put the Rams down two with only nine seconds left in the game.
Reimink was a big part at bringing the Rams back in it, scoring the final six points for the Rams in the final three minutes.
“We can play with their quickness, we just made some turnovers and rebounding killed us,” Reimink said.
CSU found themselves down by eight with 9:39 left in the game. However, the Rams’ 10-3 run, including two threes from senior captain Kandy Beemer and Barbee in the next three minutes of play, pulled CSU within one point.
The Aztecs took the biggest lead in the game by nine after a steal and by Coco Davis that went Jene Morris who scored a layup for the Aztecs.
SDSU came out of the locker room to begin the second half down by two but found themselves quickly leading by five in the first two minutes of play. CSU and SDSU tied the game five times during the first half of play but the Rams took the lead at the buzzer when Barbee connected on a deep two pointer.
The Rams led for much of the first half, taking their biggest lead by six at the 6:38 mark when Minor hit a jump shot.
Both teams dominated on defense throughout the first half, with the Rams creating 11 turnovers and the Aztecs blocking six shots.
Morris finished the game as the leading scorer, with 31 points for SDSU. Morris’ teammate Johnson was second in scoring for the Aztecs with 16 points.
“(Morris) just played great. She just put her whole team on her back and refused to lose. She is a great player,” said Beemer.
For the Rams, Reimink concluded her final game at Moby leading CSU in both scoring and rebounding with 13 points and seven rebounds.
“She (Reimink) played a great game. That was one of her better games,” coach Holt said.
“It was fun to play well in my last game. It was just a little too late,” Reimink said.
Simmons was second in scoring with 10 points while Beemer and Heimstra each tallied nine points.
The win for SDSU was the Aztecs fourth consecutive, which almost secures them a first round bye in the Mountain West Conference Tournament next week.
“This is a very good SDSU team and they will probably be in the NCAA even if they don’t win the conference tournament,” coach Holt said.
It is certain that the Rams will travel to Las Vegas Monday morning for the MWC Tournament as the eighth seed, as UNLV picked up their fifth conference victory tonight against Air Force 64-63.
“I think we will go in confident. Our hard work has paid off obviously and we can stick right with those guys,” Beemer said.
Women’s basketball beat writer Justin Warren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.