The CSU women’s basketball team improved to 2-0 for the first time since the 2003-04 season by beating Wichita State 85-60 on Sunday afternoon.
The Rams scoring output matched the highest of head coach Kristen Holt’s tenure and was the highest since they also scored 85 in a win against UNLV in February.
“I felt like we had more scoring power, it was just (whether or not) we handled their pressure,” Holt said after the game. “I think we really just hurt them inside and figured out what they were doing in the first half.”
Sophomore Kim Mestdagh again led the Rams in scoring with a career-high 21 points. She hit the mark with 6:55 left in the second half on a three-pointer from the wing.
With 6:17 left, Mestdagh turned the ball over and picked up her fifth foul, exiting to a standing ovation from the crowd of 945.
“It was kind of a bummer, coach told me not to foul,” Mestdagh said, “I was like, OK I’m not gonna foul, and then I fouled and was like ‘dang it.’ I was happy the team did well.”
Junior Bonnie Barbee and sophomore Megan Heimstra both scored 17 for the Rams, while Heimstra also added three blocks and nine rebounds.
After hitting a layup with 2:08 left in the game, Barbee hit the ground hard and stayed down, clutching her neck. Zoi Simmons entered the game for Barbee as she left the court under her own power.
One of the biggest plays of the game came in the second half. Coming out of a media time out with 11:31 left, Mestdagh streaked down the court and hit a layup after a perfect football pass from Barbee.
“That got me going; I was so excited about that,” Mestdagh said about the play.
After the shot, she was fouled hard by Wichita State’s Morgan Boyd, who was assessed a flagrant foul. CSU lead by 11 at the half and opened the second with a 7-0 run to put a stranglehold on their lead.
The Shockers led from the opening tip until a Simmons three-pointer tied the game at 21 with 8:57 left in the first half. Wichita State’s pressure affected the Rams early as they built an early nine-point lead, but CSU responded with two free throws by Mestdagh to cut it to seven, who then assisted on a jump shot by Erin Cooke to bring the Rams within five.
“We’re 2-0, we feel great,” Heimstra said of the team’s performance. “We stuck with it, we never gave up even when we were down, we stuck with it and we’re pretty pumped.”
The Rams are off until Wednesday when they’ll play their first road game of the season at Denver inside Magness Arena.
Women’s basketball beat reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at email@example.com.